This is by far one of the most common misconceptions clients bring to me. “I didn’t file because I thought she automatically got custody” or “I thought the court would give me custody because I’m the mom.” This is absolutely FALSE. The majority of states, including North Carolina, do not automatically favor a mother over a father. The doctrine of “tender years” previously upheld the presumption that mothers were more capable of caring for children, particularly during their early or “tender” years. This likely came to be because of the different social dynamics between men and women in the past. Men worked and women stayed at home and raised the kids. North Carolina abolished this doctrine at least two decades ago. At present day, the courts look at the overall best interest of the children. There is no preference for a father or mother to have custody. If you have any concerns about your current or potential custody matter please give us a call.
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