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Can Child Custody Be Modified in North Carolina?

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Child Custody North Carolina.pngDuring a divorce case or child custody dispute, the court will order final child custody and visitation arrangements. These arrangements are based on the best interests of the child, which is the standard courts use in deciding custody issues. However, there may be reasons why you want to change these arrangements.


If you have a child custody order or agreement currently in place, you can ask the Court to modify the child custody arrangement. Even if your order is a "permanent" order, the Court never loses the power to change that Order as long as your child is still a minor. In order to modify a prior child custody determination a Court must make two determinations:

  1. That there has been a "substantial change of circumstances" effecting the child since the previous order was entered.
  2. That a modification of the current custody arrangement is in the best interest of the child. 

Some key factors in modifying child custody are:

  • Ability to Provide Stable Environment
  • Interference with the visitation rights of the other parent
  • Child's Preferences.
  • Relocation Impact
  • Religious Considerations
  • Voluntary Custody Changes
  • Health Changes
  • Lifestyles
  • Please note these are just a short, limited list of examples, and your specific case may be one that the Court has never even considered. Each case is unique and the Court has the power to modify a child custody order as long as it finds a "substantial change of circumstances" effecting the welfare of the child.

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