Child Custody Laws and Rigths


I have recently split with my husband of 6.5 years. I had one child prior to our marriage and had one during the marriage. I would like to know first…if he has ANY rights or say so to the child I had prior to our marriage (not his-from previous relationship) and second if he threatens to take that child out of state do I have any rights dealing with that. We have been split 3 months and have no legal seperation or custody papers that states with whom the child(ren) resides or whatnot. He does not have a stable home, is living with his current girl friend and so on and so forth. Thirdly…would child mediation help with this situation especially considering I dont want either of the children spending night with him at new girlfriends house. What say so DO I HAVE?


Your husband has no legal rights to your child born of a previous relationship unless he formally adopted that child.

With respect to the child you share, if he threatens to flee the state in order to avoid jurisdiction you may file an action for emergency custody to prevent him from doing so. However if he is merely crossing the state line for a visit with family or some other benign reason an emergency order is not appropriate.

Mediation is only helpful if both parties are committed to try and reach resolution. I suggest you file an action with the court, and you may air your concerns about his girlfriend before a judge in a temporary custody hearing.


Thank you for your quick and speedy response to my posted question. Now I have another one…in the state of NC you have to be seperated for one year before divorce, this I know. But if he is trying to push a quicker one due to the fact he believes he can get custody if marries new girlfriend…will it actually help if he does re-marry? I am under assumption that he believes if we divorce, and he re-marries that a judge, irregardles to his living arrangements, will grant him some sort of every other weekend type visitation. Doesn’t he have to have a stable living environment and able to provide for said child(ren) first? And if drugs involved, how would that play into the situation? Thanks


There is no way to get a divorce before being separated for one year and one day. Other states may have shorter separation periods, but North Carolina does not have any basis for divorcing other than one year’s separation, or incurable insanity (which is rarely used, and takes up to 3 years).

His marriage to another woman will not create a default custody arrangement. The court will consider his ability to parent, and what is in the child’s best interests in awarding custody. If drugs are involved the court may very well find that only limited and supervised visitation is appropriate.