Legal Information: North Carolina

Custody

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

What is custody?

Custody is the physical care and supervision of a child (under 18 years of age).  Physical custody is used to describe the person with whom the child lives on a day-to-day basis.  Legal custody is used to describe the person who has the right to make major decisions concerning the child, including decisions about the child's education, health care, and religious training.*

There are two different types of custody arrangements: joint/shared custody and sole/exclusive custody.**  Then there is visitation, which refers to the time that the child spends with the parent who the child does not live with.

* NCGS § 50A-102(3)
** NCGS § 50-13.2(b)