When a husband and wife decide to end a marriage, the issues of child custody, support, and visitation are often among the most contentious to resolve. You want to do what is in your child’s best interest and you want to continue to be involved in your child’s life. But your spouse’s behavior may color your decisions. Child custody issues are emotionally charged, so it’s important to have a knowledgeable attorney to help you to make informed decisions about legal issues affecting your child.
Our lawyers are experienced trial lawyers who are there to fight for you and what is the best interests of your child or children.
Let an experienced, knowledgeable and compassionate North Carolina family law attorney at Teddy, Meekins & Talbert advise you on the issues of child custody and child support if you are confronting the prospect of separation and divorce. We handle family law cases in Shelby, Rutherfordton, Lincolnton or Gastonia or a nearby county.
Reach us by calling (704) 487-1234 or by using our online contact form.
Parents of minor children in North Carolina have a legal responsibility for the care, education, medical care and maintenance of their children. In most divorces, one of the parents assumes physical custody of the child and the other parent has visitation rights. North Carolina law does not give preference to either parent based on gender. One parent or both parents may have legal custody to make decisions about the child’s life.
When there are contested issues regarding the custody of a child, the court requires the parents to enter mediation to try to minimize acrimony and stress on the child. If the parents reach an understanding about child custody out of court, the understanding is put in writing as a separation agreement that is presented to the court for approval. The agreement must clearly spell out the duties of each parent regarding child custody.
The attorneys at Teddy, Meekins & Talbert have experience negotiating separation agreements. Our goal always is to promote your child’s best interests while protecting your legal rights as a parent.
We also have extensive experience in handling contested custody hearings in court when the two sides cannot agree on a satisfactory child custody arrangement. If it is contested you want a fierce experienced advocate on your side.
Child custody agreements aren’t written in stone. Either parent may seek to have a child custody agreement modified. If you are unhappy with your existing child custody agreement, talk to a knowledgeable family law attorney at Teddy, Meekins & Talbert.
Both parents share the responsibility of supporting a child financially. But North Carolina law does not require each parent to provide equal financial support. Child support varies based on the incomes of the parents and the needs of the child pursuant to the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines. This can be researched at ncchildsupport.com (a North Carolina Government website) providing information.
It’s helpful to seek the guidance of a lawyer who has negotiated child support agreements to be sure that you take all factors into account and that each child receives all the support to which the child is entitled.
If the two sides cannot agree on the amount of support, an experienced family law attorney at Teddy, Meekins & Talbert can petition the court on your behalf to set the amount of child support. The courts follow child support guidelines in setting the amounts.
We also can petition the court to modify a child support agreement set by the court if there has been a substantial change in circumstances. Under North Carolina law, the obligations of child support typically end when a child reaches age 18 or graduates from high school, whichever is later.
Child support and child custody are often negotiated as part of the separation agreement rather than when the divorce is finalized.
We know preparing for a divorce isn’t easy. Our lawyers are experienced trial lawyers who are there to fight for you and your rights.