Joint custody as a place where judges start their analysis has not been the law of North Carolina. In fact, for many decades in North Carolina, the standard that judges use in a custody cased is the “best interest of the child.” In other words, the judge must focus on the broad and specific needs of the child, the conduct of the parents, and the child’s environment and weigh all factors to decide what kind of custody arrangement is best for that particular child.
Things may be changing.
In some states there is a move to a different approach.
Take, for example, Maryland, and the recommendations of the Commission on Child Custody Decision Making. Under current law, Maryland courts, like North Carolina, look at the best interest of the child when making child custody decisions. Some are pushing for a presumption of joint custody. The Washington Post recently reported that in 2017 more than twenty states are considering creating a legal presumption that shared or joint custody is where the custody analysis starts. See The Post’s Michael Alison Chandler article.
Where to go from here?
There might be some good reasons for the change but in my view a judge hearing a case should always be guided by the needs of the child because no family is the same and one size may not fit all.
"Scott was wonderful throughout the long process and it was clear to me that Scott was knowledgeable of case-law and the Wake County Court system, as well as being especially strong in court. His representation resulted in additional parenting time following the temporary custody trial and since the case proceeded to a full trial, I was ultimately awarded the custody arrangement I was seeking. My daughters reside in Wake County and now if my ex-wife chooses to relocate, I’ll have full legal custody of the girls. Throughout the process, Scott was responsive, provided extremely helpful advice, and genuinely cared about the outcome of my case. I would strongly recommended Scott’s representation for custody matters."
"Cared About My Situation"
I was out of options and Scott was there to help. I have spoken to or met many attorney's in Wake County and Scott was the only one that REALLY actually cared about my situation. It sounds cliche' but it's not. I could clearly tell that Scott had given a lot of thought to my case. Scott has extensive knowledge of the law. That knowledge coupled with his cerebral approach and courtroom presence were a savior. - Ken
"Secured My Life"
"Scott Allen and his team were sensational during my divorce proceedings. They kept me well-informed of the procedures, requirements, and options. They took the time to explain to me at every step of the decisions and options as we moved forward in my life. Their support, knowledge and presence were comforting in my time of need and help me get through the ordeal. While no divorce is pleasant outcome they help me secure my life and begin a new chapter with a fresh start. Their extensive knowledge of the law and arbitration and negotiation skills were invaluable in getting a good settlement and resolution. I am very pleased that I selected Scott and his team to represent me. I would emphatically recommend Scott and to anyone who is facing a divorce or possibility of a divorce."
"Fought for My Rights"
I wanted to go to court and he went with it. During the initial hearing and all the subsequent hearings he fought for my rights and presented my case diligently and proved the claims by the other party to be false. Most of the lawyers, will tell you settle as it saves them and the court time, but it might not be always in your best interest. Scott is not those lawyers, he really cares about his clients and is not afraid to litigate or fight for his client’s right in the court. - Susan
"I Began to Sleep Better at Night"
Scott Allen took my divorce case after my first lawyer failed to stand for my rights.Scott took the case and I began to sleep better at night. My marriage ended from abuse so I was very weary. - Felicia