Divorce can have a lasting effect on the lives of children. At Vasquez Law Firm, our Raleigh, Smithfield and Charlotte child custody lawyers are here to help you resolve conflicts over custody and visitation in a manner that seeks to put the best interests of your children first.
There are two types of custody in North Carolina, legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody involves the right to make important decisions for your child concerning issues such as education, medical care and religious upbringing. Physical custody concerns where your child will live.
Both parents will typically be granted joint legal custody of their children following a divorce. Joint physical custody may be granted as well, although one parent will usually be granted primary physical custody. The other parent will usually be allowed overnight visits according to a negotiated schedule.
North Carolina courts generally believe that young children need to spend more time with their mothers than they do with their fathers. However, the schedule can change as the child gets older. If the parents’ work schedules permit, the courts may provide as much visitation as possible, even allowing for a 50-50 split of custody. Ultimately, the court will attempt to craft a plan that serves the best interests of the child.
In North Carolina, any parent, relative or another person, agency, organization or institution claiming the right to custody of a minor child may institute an action or proceeding for the custody of such child. N.C.G.S. 50-13.1.
In making the determination, the court shall consider all relevant factors, including acts of domestic violence between the parties, the safety of the child and the safety of either party from domestic violence by the other party, and shall make findings accordingly. An order for custody must include findings of fact that support the determination of what is in the best interest of the child. N.C.G.S. 50-13.2.
Unless a parent is considered unfit, or if there is a history of domestic violence in the home, sole custody is not a realistic goal in North Carolina. Courts believe that it is in the best interests of children to have frequent and loving contact with both parents.
Our Raleigh, Smithfield and Charlotte child custody attorneys believe strongly in the mediation and collaborative law process to help parents amicably resolve child custody and visitation issues. Each situation is unique, and we will work hard to find the right solution for each of our clients.
The legal team at Vasquez Law Firm also provides parent coordination services to help you resolve any conflicts that may arise following your divorce. We can also handle child custody and support modifications if and when your situation changes.
If you are going through a divorce and are concerned about custody, visitation and child support matters, we are prepared to help. Contact our Raleigh, Smithfield or Charlotte child custody lawyers online or call 919-989-3000 to schedule an initial consultation to discuss your situation.