As a parent, you want nothing more than to ensure the well-being of your children, especially while you are separating from your spouse. By the same token, you don’t want to see your rights as a parent be diminished because a judge made unfair decisions which mean you completely get to lose any custody over your child.
Fortunately, North Carolina laws allow some flexibility. The primary goal is to promote the best interest of the children and here at C. Wayne Heasely Law Firm, that is our top priority as well. We know that basically the children are the ones who get the most effected while during a divorce. Hence, keeping the best interest in the mind of the children, we go forth with the case.
We represent parents throughout Mecklenburg County in child custody and divorce-related proceedings. Be it a divorce agreement negotiation or a dispute about a child custody agreement, your child should on top of your priorities.
Glimpse at North Carolina’s Child Custody Laws
There are two distinct and equally important aspects of child custody in North Carolina:
1. Legal Custody
The first one refers to a parent's authority to make important legal decisions for the children involved. This can include
• schooling decisions,
• health care, and other things that affect the well-being of the children.
Courts can award legal custody to both parents jointly or to only one parent, depending on the best sense of justice.
2. Physical Custody
This is what most people think of when it comes to child custody. This refers to the parent with whom the children will spend most of their time. Again, courts can award joint physical custody or full custody to only one parent. It's important to note that even when courts award joint physical custody, it doesn't mean that there will be a perfect, 50-50 split in the amount of time each parent gets with the children.
Related to physical custody is Child Visitation, which refers to the time the non-custodial parent or a non-parent (such as a grandparent) spends with the children.
We also offer any legal help if the parents decide to have a change in custody of the child. When circumstances warrant, we can file a child custody modification request with the court.
How does a judge decide who will get custody?
The judge makes the decision on custody based on which parent would be able to promote the child's welfare and interest in the best possible manner. This is called the "best interest of the child” standard and in involves numerous factors that the judge would take into consideration, including the physical and mental states of both parties, any domestic violence issues (if any), the caretaking responsibilities of the parents, etc.
At what age does a child have the right to decide where they would like to live?
In North Carolina, there is no set age at which the child can make the decision as to where he or she would like to live. If the court decides to take the testimony of a child whose age the court believes to be appropriate enough for this decision, the court is not obligated to take their preference into consideration when making the custody decision. It is the court’s decision as to whether or not the child’s preference should be considered.
How do I get emergency child custody?
In North Carolina, judges usually refuse to grant emergency custody unless or until an actual dangerous situation has risen. In such a case, the court will review the facts that have been presented and then the court will determine whether the emergency is valid or not.
Unless the court finds that the child has the potential of being exposed to bodily injury or sexual abuse, a temporary order for emergency custody will not be executed.
When can a child custody order be changed?
Either party can obtain a modification in the child custody order by providing evidence that the circumstances of the custodial parent have changed significantly and have put the welfare of the child at risk.
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University Center Court 416 McCullough Drive #210 Charlotte, NC 28262