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Glossary of Divorce Terms

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Joint Custody: North Carolina courts must consider joint custody if it is requested by one of the parents. Can refer to Joint Legal Custody, or Joint Physical Custody, may be ordered when both parents request sole custody. According to the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines the parents have Joint Custody if each has more than 123 overnights with the minor child(ren).

Joint Legal Custody: Joint decision-making authority, independent of physical custody of minor children.

Joint Physical Custody: An equal share of physical custody of a minor child, most often one parent has physical custody, while the other parent has visitation.

Jurisdiction: The power of the court to decide a matter in controversy. A North Carolina court has jurisdiction over your divorce action if one of the parties, either plaintiff or defendant, has lived in North Carolina for 6 months immediately prior to the filing of the divorce action.