“David Teddy and his team are outstanding!!! WORTH EVERY PENNY!”- Nicholas D.
“David Teddy was more than worth the money... he actually took the time to listen.”- Rosslyn S.
“Daniel Talbert is a top-notch attorney... he has a never-give-up approach even when things look bleak.”- Roger T.
“Ralph is the epitome of what a lawyer should be.”- Melinda R.
Child Custody Laws in North Carolina
Strictly speaking, a custody order from the courts is not necessary when couples separate, as long as they agree on how the child will be raised and who will make decisions regarding the child’s care and upbringing.
Furthermore, courts generally urge couples to resolve their custody dispute outside the courtroom if at all possible, as this generally makes the process easier on the child.
North Carolina’s child custody laws do not automatically favor one parent over the other. Mothers and fathers alike can seek custody, even if they are not married. Grandparents could also seek custody of a child in certain circumstances.
“David Teddy and his team are outstanding!!! WORTH EVERY PENNY!” - Nicholas D.
“David Teddy was more than worth the money... he actually took the time to listen.” - Rosslyn S.
“Daniel Talbert is a top-notch attorney... he has a never-give-up approach even when things look bleak.” - Roger T.
“Ralph is the epitome of what a lawyer should be.” - Melinda R.
The guiding principle for all child custody agreements in North Carolina is that the child’s best interests must come first. In other words, it’s not about what makes you or the other parent happy. Instead, it’s about what will be the best custody arrangement for the child.
State law says that it’s preferable to have both parents involved in raising a child if possible, but this isn’t always a viable option. If a child custody dispute escalates to the point where court hearings are necessary, some of the factors a judge may use to determine custody are:
- Any history of domestic violence in the family
- The child’s current living arrangement
- The child’s relationship with each parent
- The ability of each parent to care for the child
- The parents’ relationship with each other and whether they can get along
- How much each parent has already contributed to raising the child
Two general types of child custody are available under North Carolina law. The first is joint custody, meaning both parents will spend time with the child and can make decisions on the child’s behalf. This is the preferred type of custody agreement in North Carolina, assuming both parents can get along.
The other type of child custody is sole custody when one parent is solely responsible for raising a child, and the child does not spend time with the other parent. This type of custody agreement is rare, but it can happen when one parent is deemed unfit to take care of a child.
Within these two types of custody arrangements, there are two different kinds of custody. Legal custody refers to which parents are allowed to make crucial decisions for the child, such as where they will go to school, what medical care they receive, and so on.
Physical custody refers to which parent a child spends time with. To minimize the disruption in a child’s life after their parents split, the most common type of custody agreement is joint legal custody, with one parent having primary physical custody while the other parent has visitation rights.
Reaching a Child Custody Agreement
When possible, courts prefer couples to work out a child custody agreement themselves. However, this is not always possible, especially if the parents cannot agree on the child’s best interests.
To avoid a protracted court battle, the court will sometimes order feuding couples to attend mediation or counseling sessions so a neutral third party can help them resolve their differences. However, if all of these measures fail, the courts will hold a series of hearings to determine which parent will get custody of the child.
Once a child custody order has been handed down, it is challenging to alter, so be sure to get help from an attorney to protect your parental rights.
How Our Lawyers Can Help to Contest a Child Custody Case
Here are some of the ways a North Carolina child custody lawyer can help you with your case:
- Help you file for custody with the local family court
- Represent you at the various court hearings throughout the legal process
- Gather evidence to support your preferred custody arrangement
- Work out the details of a custody agreement, such as:
- Visitation schedules
- Ensuring your child’s medical, financial, and educational needs are met
- Minimizing the disruption in your child’s life after custody has been decided
- Setting ground rules for how you and the child’s other parents will interact with and contact one another
At Teddy, Meekins & Talbert, P.L.L.C., our Lincolnton, NC, child custody lawyers understand how important your children are to you. We have extensive experience helping parents protect their rights to see their children, and we are ready to put our knowledge and skills to work for you.
While this process can be challenging, don’t despair. We are here to help, and together, we can work to find a resolution that allows your evolving family to move on to a better, brighter future. Get in touch now for a confidential consultation.