Custody change

Is there a custody order or is there current custody arrangement by agreement?
NC defaults to joint legal custody unless it is specified in court or by agreement. If I’m reading this correctly, the ex wants the father to have primary physical custody of both children but wants to retain joint legal custody of the daughter?
If there is a court order then they would need to file a consent to modify custody, I believe. With this signed by both parents, I do not believe that it has to go to court. It probably will change child support if that is a concern.
If this is by agreement then I’m not sure a lot needs to be done unles they just want to make it legal. Then the father would need to file for custody of the daughter and the mother would need to agree. I think it may still be the same procedure but not sure.

We found out there was nothing filed in court pertaining to custody. So he has to file a complaint and when the is done he can get the consent and they can sign.

she wants it to be joint custody but with the kids living with us. at first that was fine. but after reading about it…what does that mean? i’ve read where with joint custody, both parents make the major decisions when it comes to the child. So does that mean we have to get her permission before we move across state? We plan to do that in a few years. Not across state. Just a few hours away. He wants to change daycares. The ex wants her to stay at the one she is attending. Can he change or do they have to agree? They don’t get along at all. So they have no communication. And never will.

Anyway…not sure joint custody is a good match. But I doubt she would do any other…

Advice anyone?

Joint legal custody does mean that both parents have an equal role in decisions for the children, such as school, religion, and medical.
Joint physical custody can mean whatever the parents want it to mean. They can have joint physical custody with equal time, meaning that the children spend the exact amount of time with each parent or they can have joint custody with the children staying primarily at one residence. Physical custody is the daily care and decisions of everyday things. If you have primary physical custody then she can not specifically bar the decision to move even sharing joint custody. Realistically, if your fiance has primary physical custody then in a few years, when you do move, the daughter will no longer be in daycare. Is there a specific reason that the daycare needs to be changed? Or a reason not to change?

Joint custody can only work if the parents are able to communicate and agree on what’s best for the child. If they can not agree, then I suggest your fiance attempt to get primary custody leave legal custody split and carry on with your lives. Changing daycare is not the same as moving a child from private school to public. THAT would be a educational decision the parents would have to agree on with joint legal custody…

The daughter doesn’t want to go to the daycare anymore. She wants to go to a diff one or stay home with a sitter. The ex wants her to go to the same daycare. She has friends that work there so she can keep up with the gossip.

My fiance and the ex do not communicate at all. On the few times they have talked…it ends with yelling and screaming. So the ex calls/texts me when she has questions or concerns. She wants to talk to him…but he refuses. She’s done a lot to cause drama between them. I doubt that will change.

I could be wrong but I believe that the parent with primary physical custody is the one to make that decision. After all, that is part of the daily care not education…

Joint legal custody generally means joint decision making on major issues (health, education, religion). Day to day decision are made by the parent who has custody of the child at that time, day care would generally be considered a day to day decision.

If you wish to move in the future she can go back to court to try and stop you from doing so if she objects. Even if your fiance is given sole legal custody that does not stop her from being able to try and address this issue in court.

P.S. Please feel free to bring up this or any other topic on our live call-in show every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. EST. Visit for details

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

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My fiances ex has decided that their daughter would be better off living with us instead of her. We already have their son. What does my fiance need to do to get this done? At this time they have split custody. He has the son and she has the daughter. Now she wants him to keep both kids and wants joint custody of the daughter.

Thanks for the help.[:)]