When divorcing parents are creating a custody and visitation plan, the best interests of the child come first. North Carolina courts will look at a variety of factors to determine if an order is in fact in a child's best interest. For example, they will look to see if it creates a sense of consistency in a child's life.
This could mean keeping a child in the same school district or close to the same family members. Depending on how old a child is, he or she may be allowed to have input in the matter. In cases where a child is a toddler or still very young, a judge will tend to listen more to the child's primary caregiver. However, this assumes that the child would be safe from harm by living with that parent in the future.
When making a custody and visitation order, a judge generally wants to make sure that both parents have access to the child. Again, this assumes that the child will be safe around both parents. Parents should know that moving to a new city or state could impact a custody or visitation plan even if they are otherwise fit to be in a child's life.
The best interests of a child may be different in one case than they are in another. Therefore, it may be best for an individual to speak with an attorney prior to starting the process. This may help a parent create a strategy that is most likely to allow him or her to get maximum rights to a child.