Question about Child Custody

My best friend recently went through a divorce in North Carolina. The judge in the case gave custody of their sole child to his ex-wife because he no longer lived in North Carolina and because the half sister also lived with the mother in NC.

Fast forward, and his ex-wife has started drinking again (she has had a history of drug and alcohol abuse). Recently she decided to drive drunk, with the two children in the car, and ended up flipping her car (the court had been informed before this that she had driven drunk with the children in the care previously). She was arrested for a DUI and it is my understanding there are other charges pending.

I am shocked because where I live, and in other states where I have friends who are family law specialists (none in NC) a DUI with a minor child in the car is a felony and results in automatic termination of parental rights. Yet my friend found out his ex-wife’s attorney has plans to try and get custody again (he has temporary custody) and thus the court date was postponed yet again.

What is the law in NC in cases such as this?

These is no law in NC in which a felony results in an automatic termination of parental rights. The mother’s actions will certainly be considered in any custody determination, and the court will carefully consider the case to ensure the children are safe.