Sole vs. Joint Custody


Dear standup:

Greetings. In North Carolina child custody and child support are totally separate issues. When worksheet A under the child support guidelines is called the “sole custody” worksheet, it has nothing to do with what type of actual custody the parents have. The words “sole custody” and “joint custody” with respect to child support are solely descriptive words.

We determine which child support guideline to use by the number of overnights each child spends with each parent, not by what type of custodial arrangements you have.

You can determine why type of custody you have by looking at the child custody order you have or the separation agreement you have. Best of luck.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Divorce
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607

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 but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.


It is my understanding that my x and I have joint custody of our 2 children. In the calculation of child support, the judge used worksheet A which is specifically used for Sole Custody. My overnights are somewhere around 110, just a few shy of the minimum requirement, but as far as I am concerned, it is still joint custody. Decisions on the children’s behalf are made by both parents. Why did the judge use Worksheet A instead of B and how can I find out what the official record is for me as it relates to custody? Is there a department in the Office of the Courts that has an offical record of this.
Thanks for your help.