Legal Custody


Unless there is a court order or agreement in place, each party has the right to take the child and potentially keep them from the other parent. It sounds like your daughter and her child’s father and worked out an arrangement and may just need to put it in writing. Court is not necessary in many cases.

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

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

Charlotte Office
301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 9343.0044

Durham & Chapel Hill Office
1829 East Franklin Street
Building 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 321.0780


The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.


My daughter recently left her boyfriend of 3 years. They had a child in this relationship. He had a child from his previous marriage, which he lost his parental rights of in December, and still owes back child support.

My daughter has tried to maintain a relationship by driving their child 3 hours 1 way every other weekend and allowing the child to stay with him for 1 week.

Everyone keeps telling her to file for “custody”. They were never married, so I am confused by this. When she left, she took her child, is that not having “full custody”? If not, what, where and how does she file?