Child custody disputes are often challenging and emotionally charged for everyone who is involved. an experienced legal expert in child custody is usually required to guide you through the maze of questions that could arise in the course of the case. The child custody lawyers of The Hart Law Firm have an extensive amount of experience in the field of negotiating as well as litigating custody issues and are aware of what’s on the line both for your loved ones and you.

The aim for this piece is to act as the most comprehensive source to all custody issues for North Carolina.

What is What is Custody In NC?

The custody of children is collection of rights legal and obligations that parents have to share with respect to children’s welfare in general, education as well as religion, education and health care for their children. If parents do not agree on these matters, then it is clear that the parental rights of children can be disputed.

When parents are unable to reach an agreement on the custody rights of their children’s minors, no one wins. While parents may think they are fighting for the children’s best interests however, they are not doing anything but harming their long-term health as well as well-being their children.

This is why the child custody attorneys at The Hart Law Firm are passionate advocates of trying to reach a custody arrangement, without going to court. However, in the unlikely scenario that the parents do not be in agreement, and if we are convinced of the reason our client would like to bring a custody suit and we are able to be able to take on the case and represent the client in the court.

What is the process for child Custody Function for North Carolina?

The law in North Carolina, parents who opt to legal separation are strongly advised to agree to a custody agreement, without the need for the court. If you can discuss the various elements of the custody issue in a non-judiciary setting an agreement on child custody can be written that spells out how custody will be dealt with.

If you’d like, the provisions that you have agreed to in the custody arrangement may be part of a consent decree that is legally binding and modifyable by courts to the extent questions arise later.

As we mentioned earlier the child custody arrangement can be a way to address general welfare of your child’s health, education as well as religious education, among others. numerous recreational activities that your child can participate in.

Since each family and child circumstance is different A child custody agreement needs to be tailored specifically to meet the requirements of your particular circumstance. This is not the right place to find cookie-cutter contracts which can be downloaded on the internet at no cost. The custody agreement you sign must be clear and explicit about the specific needs of your child’s requirements, and provide you with the ability to modify the arrangement in the future in the event of a need.

What is the court procedure in Custody and Visitation Cases?

We encourage negotiations without the court system, we recognize the fact that there are times that force you (due to circumstances outside of you control) to start a custody lawsuit within the county in which you or the child live. The process begins by filing a complaint seeking the custody of your child or visiting. The fact that the person files a complaint, it does not mean your case will go before an attorney.

The most common reason for filing an action is to enable parents to avail of the mandatory mediation for child custody that must be completed prior to setting up a trial of child custody.

What’s Child Custody Mediation?

In the majority of instances, mediation on child custody can help parents come to a decision on custody. In Wake and a number of other counties in North Carolina, attorneys are not permitted to be present at the mediation session with the child.

If your dispute does not settle in mediating, then the following stage to take is to appear at a hearing for temporary custody of your child. The typical hearing lasts two hours and every parent is given the same amount of time to present evidence, summon witnesses and make their argument before the judge. After the hearing the judge will issue an interim order which makes an announcement on the custody rights of your child and what the timetable for visiting will be.

In many instances this ruling is temporary and can be converted into an official custody order after one year if that neither parent contests the decision or requests an end-of-court hearing.

How do I know the North Carolina Child Custody Laws?

At the core of North Carolina Custody Statute is the notion that the best interests of the child has to be considered in every instance. That means the judge doesn’t consider whether you’re either the father or mother and whether you are whether you are married or not. The court will be concerned with your children and what’s most beneficial for them.

What is the significance of this? It signifies you can expect the courts to look at all relevant aspects of your case in order to make the decision on child custody.

Here are some of the elements judges might consider:

  • Acts of Domestic Violence committed between the parents
  • The history of education of the child
  • The physical, mental, and moral capacities of each parent;
  • The health of each parent’s child;
  • The conditions of living for the parents;
  • Ensure continuity for the minor child
  • If the parent with custody is able to care for the minor child
  • The affection and love that exists between parents and child;
  • If the parent will cooperate and facilitate interaction with another parent
  • The custodial parent’s willingness to be able to accommodate any modifications to be made to their custodial calendar;
  • If the parent will respect the schedule of visits;
  • The role of each parent in the life of their child (i.e. knowing about teachers or friends as well as extracurricular activities. ); and,
  • Other factors the court will have to take into consideration.

Do we need to appear in court? could we negotiate Child custody in our separation agreements?

There is no need to have to attend the court. In fact, the majority of people will settle on an arrangement for custody and schedule without having to use any court system. Most of the time, the parents will draft an agreement and a custody schedule that could be added to the last arrangement for separation.

This is the preferred method by lawyers for child custody and judges when parents are able to reach an agreement on the majority of child-related decisions and communicate effectively with one another.

If both of you don’t meet on any issue or are in a constant battle, (especially about the kids) and don’t always reach an agreement on anything, an divorce agreement may not be the right choice for you. In such situations, we typically suggest an therapy provider who specializes in co-parenting before the filing of a court case. However, if your spouse doesn’t want to go to therapy, filing a custody case could be necessary.

Who Can File for Child Custody?

Any family member or any other person may file a custodial claim within North Carolina. That includes grandparents. But, the parent who is not the primary one must demonstrate they are not fit or has behaved in a manner that would be considered to be inconsistent with their parental obligations or duties.

If a parent who is not the parent files for custody, the child’s birth parent is in a position to provide care and retain the custody of the child until the court finds that the non-parent can be able to provide better parental care as compared to the natural parent.

Can I be able to have my Child Custody Case Go to the Court?

Not necessarily. We have previously mentioned as a law firm that deals with child custody We strongly encourage our clients to investigate every option that isn’t court-related such as mediation, collaborative divorce, and even having a session with a co-parenting therapist before proceeding with judicial procedures.

If you bring an issue with child custody to the court, not only will you lose control, and lose the capacity to make decisions regarding your case, but you also be spending thousands of dollars in legal costs, expert witnesses and forensic assessments. While this is a necessity in certain circumstances however, most of the time it’s not.

If your child’s custody dispute goes to court will depend in major part on your intentions and also the child custody attorney you choose to work with. If you’re a lawyer, going to court is simpler (and more profitable) than trying to reach a settlement that can benefit everyone parties. For parents, however the court proceedings should be your last option.

Do I require a child Custody Agreement?

It is not a legal obligation you have an arrangement for custody and many parents can go many years without having to reach a custody agreement. The need for a custody agreement for your child depends on a number of variables, such as the number of children you have, and the ages of them, how you are able to get along with your other parent and how close or how far away you live with the other parent and the overall background that your entire family has.

As a lawyer for child custody We strongly encourage all parents to get your custody agreement written even if they don’t ever make use of the agreement. It is always beneficial to have a contract that can be relied upon should there be a dispute. Additionally should it become necessary to bring a child custody case in the future, the contract will be used by the judge to decide what is best in the interest for the child.

There isn’t any custody agreements and there’s not a court order So who is the parent of the child?

In the beginning of a matter, prior to the time the agreement is reached or court order regarding custody the parents will be granted the same rights with respect to their child. But, this can be an unfavorable situation especially when parents aren’t in agreement.

Parents can choose to take any unilateral action they wish regarding the child. The only option you have is to bring this up to the court during an upcoming custody hearing.

Furthermore, any parent can legally expel the child from school, State, and even from the country (with an active passport). This kind of behavior is likely to be closely scrutinized by the courts at an upcoming hearing, so it is essential to keep your cool in making decision-making regarding the care of your children.

If you are in an instance wherein you are the parent who is taking important univocal decisions about the care of your children, with or without your approval Then we strongly recommend that you get in touch with a lawyer for child custody to discuss the situation and seek legal assistance.

Does my child get to choose which they’d like to be with?

Legally speaking, there is no. Based on the child’s age, mental capacity and age the child may be allowed to appear in court and discuss with the judge in chambers regarding their opinions. Although the court could accord a significant weightage to the child’s desires but the court is not required to accept the child’s wishes.

What that means is that the judge will listen to what the child’s wishes to accomplish, but they can decide differently if they believe that the child is more comfortable living in the same household with the parent who is not.

Do the courts favor mothers more than the father?

No. It is not any presumption of North Carolina that the mother is more a good father than the one who bathes.

How long will the procedure be?

The whole process of child custody is longer than you’d prefer, and it will cost you more than you prefer. This, in addition to the fact that no one is able to win in a custody court which is why we try our best to settle disputes of custody without going to the courtroom, whether by negotiation, mediation or in the collaborative divorce.

In Wake county Your case will likely take between 12 and 18 months. This is due to the massive backlog of cases overburdened by an underfunded court system and also because your child custody lawyers have to gather evidence to prove your case in court. In rushing through a custody hearing with insufficient evidence is not an ideal choice.

Kinds of Child Custody within North Carolina – Legal Terminology You Need to Know

The majority of people don’t realize the fact that when we talk about custody, we’re in reality discussing legally distinct terms. Physical custody is one thing, and legal custody.

Legal custody decides who gets the power to make decisions on important concerns for your child for example, where they’ll attend school, medical choices, religious upbringing as well as extracurricular activities and much more. In most cases the courts will determine of joint legal custody.

Physical custody refers to the location where your child lives daily. There are split, joint and primary custody arrangements. Joint custody is when the child lives with one parent for half of the time and with the other half of the time. Split custody means that the child lives with one parent while another child is living in the home of the parent who is not their. In addition primary custody is the place where the minor child is with one parent most of the time.

How Much Will My Child’s Custody Case Price?

Another reason you should try to settle your child custody matter in a non-court setting is the expense involved in going to trial. Along with paying the legal costs it is likely that you will be required to pay at least a part of the costs for the following lawyers and experts:

  • Parenting Coordinator
  • Guardian ad Litem
  • Child Custody Evaluation
  • Family Therapist
  • Child Therapist/Psychologist
  • Additional expert witnesses are required.

You could be asked (or court-ordered) to write an evaluation of your child’s custody These evaluations alone could be in the tens in thousands. You can choose to pay for a few of these experts and witnesses by yourself, while others will be ordered by the court.
It is therefore easy to comprehend how a custody matter could easily cost tens or tens of thousands when all the legalities are completed.

Does Child Custody be modified?

The most straightforward answer is yes, your child custody arrangement is able to be changed. The more difficult solution is that you will need demonstrate to the court that there was significant changes in the circumstances, and that a modification of custody would be best in interests that of your child.

Common reasons for a custody change are:

  • One parent has recently moved (or is considering moving);
  • One parent gets remarried;
  • The child is no longer on the custody schedule that was originally set (i.e. the schedule that worked for them when they were three is not applicable anymore to teenagers);
  • Problems with behavior that one parent is unable to handle on their own or
  • When a child reaches the age at which they’ve decided that they’d like to live with a different parent.

The number of reasons to look at a second look at a custody agreement just as children around the world. Every circumstance is unique and individual and custody is just one of the things the court can take a second look at, if the circumstance justifies it.

What is a child custody Lawyer assist?

If you’re in the possibility of considering the legal separation of your spouse, how you will divide times with the children might be among the most pressing issues you’ll face in your family law matter. A lawyer for child custody will assist you with the difficulties that often to light, and devise feasible and practical custody schedules that are able to meet the demands of your children and the family dynamics, and provide advice, counsel and support in the unlikely scenario that your case winds in court.

We are also able to guide about the details of your situation and provide an advocate for your rights that can help you understand what your relationship with your spouse is and if you is acting out of the norm in negotiations concerning how to handle your child’s custody.

We also have relationships with a number of local therapists as well as counselors who can help you navigate towards the right direction in the event you require professional assistance with issues concerning the co-parenting of your children.

What next steps should I take should I encounter an issue with Child Custody issue?

If you’re considering getting divorced, or already have, contact us at (919) (460) 5422 to arrange a meeting with a child custody attorney to discuss the options available. You can also use this Contact Form to be contacted by a member from our office will get back directly to you.