In child custody cases there are times when a non-parent wants to pursue custody of a child. This is referred to as third party custody. In these types of cases, there are certain obstacles that non-parents will need to overcome.

The Child’s Best Interest

When parents are faced with a dispute involving custody of their child in North Carolina, the dispute is resolved through the courts application of the best interests of the child standard. In other words, the court will order a custody and visitation schedule for the parents that the court deems will be promote the child’s interest and welfare.

The best interest of the child standard is also applied in situations where two potential caregivers have a third party custody dispute involving a child whose parents are not currently a part of that child’s life. Whichever is the case, North Carolina law dictates that the best interest of the child standard be applied. This standard provides that the welfare of the child is the “polar star” that guides the judge in deciding how to resolve the custody issue.

Third Party Custody and Visitation