Below are some frequently asked questions about Child Custody:
How does child custody work in North Carolina?
In North Carolina divorces, one co-parent typically gets primary physical custody as the parent with whom the child spends most of their time. The other co-parent has secondary custody (visitation rights). We recommend consulting a child custody lawyer as you negotiate a parenting plan.
The specifics of each parenting plan depend on both parents working together to reach a custody agreement, and judges will usually mandate mediation before taking a custody dispute to court.
In any custody conflicts, the child’s best interest will be the court’s guiding principle. Younger children will most often stay with the parent who has been their primary caregiver. The court may also consider the child’s wishes, especially for children aged 12 and up.
What’s the difference between physical and legal custody?
The State of North Carolina differentiates physical custody from legal custody. Your child custody lawyer can help you understand the difference between physical and legal custody and how both types of custody work in your case.
While one parent may be the primary custodial parent and the child’s main caregiver, both parents may share legal custody of the child.
Legal custody refers to who determines all the key decisions parents make on the child’s behalf, such as education, medical care, and religious upbringing.
Can an NC family law court deny visitation rights?
In almost all cases, NC family law courts consider it in the child’s best interest to preserve a relationship with both parents. However, in rare situations of severe mistreatment, continuous neglect, substance abuse, or certain criminal backgrounds, a family law court may deny a parent's visitation rights or mandate supervised visitation.
Our child custody law firm can help protect your child’s rights if you believe your co-parent is unfit for unsupervised visitation, or if your spouse or ex-spouse wrongfully accuses you of being an unfit parent.
Do all divorcing parents in NC need divorce and custody lawyers?
While some co-parents work out a custody and visitation schedule without the help of a child custody lawyer, it’s usually advisable to look for “custody lawyers near me” as you prepare for divorce, especially if you foresee a custody dispute or know your soon-to-be-ex-spouse has already hired a divorce and custody lawyer. Our experienced child custody lawyer from Speaks Law Firm, PC Family Law Division in Wilmington, NC, can help you reach a workable custody agreement. Call us at (910) 769-7339 for a consultation.
Speaks Law Firm, PC Family Law Division
300 N. 3rd St. Suite 310
Wilmington, NC 28401