Generally, there are two types of custody - legal and physical. Legal custody refers to the decision-making power of the parent, and physical custody reflects with whom the child lives, and who is responsible for daily care.
If the court grants physical custody to the one parent, it is sole physical custody, and the other parent typically has visitation hours. If parents share a form of custody, it is called joint custody. Joint custody may be awarded upon the request of either parent if the court decides that close contact with both parents is good for the child.
In any case, North Carolina courts follow the best interests of the child, considering each divorce case separately and weighing plenty of factors, including the child's reasonable needs, the child's relationship with each parent and other family members, each spouse's parenting skills, work schedule, the mental and physical health of all the parties involved, and other factors.