• Megan E. Spidell

The Every-Other Weekend Parent

Updated: Mar 7, 2019


Not a week goes by that I do not meet with a new potential client and hear the term “standard visitation” or “regular schedule”. What do they mean? They mean the old standard visitation- every-other weekend with the non-primary parent. However, in 2017, North Carolina introduced a new statute 50-13.7(a)(1), which is the “Shared Parenting Presumption” and Judges began shifting to a new “standard”. This new standard is essentially a starting point of 50/50 shared legal and physical custody, and then it is up to the attorneys (or parent) to show the Court a real reason why a shared custodial schedule is not the best for the children. This is a dramatic change from what once was a “tender years presumption” that younger children should primarily be in the care of their mothers being nurtured to the best interest standard, which now is presumed to include shared custody. Of course, the “best interest” is always the guiding light for a Court’s decision, but numerous Court of Appeals cases have found that it is important for a child to have both parents actively involved in a child’s life, so much so that we have made “encouraging shared parenting” as part of our State statute

What are some of the factors that can sway the Court to give one parent primary custody over the other?

· Criminal record of the parents, or significant others in the home;


· Work/travel schedules that make the parent unavailable;


· A history of domestic violence;


· Substance or alcohol abuse.


There are many other factors that a court considers. Speaking with an attorney about the specifics of your case is important, to ensure all facts have been presented to and considered by the Court. Contact our office today to speak with Attorney Spidell about your case!


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