The most wrenching part of divorce is dealing with child custody issues. It is important to understand how child custody is determined in North Carolina if you are contemplating divorce.
(NOTE: For specific information on Emergency Child Custody, click HERE.)
Under North Carolina statutes, the court must consider the best interests and welfare of your children in making a determination of custody. There is no preference for either the father or mother receiving custody by statute. However, there are some factors laid out that the court must consider, including the child’s relationship with each parent, whether domestic violence has occurred, the safety of the child, each parent’s home environment, and the ability of each parent to provide for the child.
A court has a wide range of options available when granting custody. It might grant custody to one parent or the other, or it could decide to grant joint custody to both parents. If joint physical custody is granted, both parents will likely spend significant time with the child or children (although the time does not necessarily have to be equal.) Sole physical custody means that the child lives with one parent most of the time and has visitation with the other parent.
Joint legal custody means that the parents are expected to make decisions together about the children’s medical care and education. However, if you are granted sole physical custody, you will be able to make those decisions on your own and will not need to consult with the other parent.
The court will also decide visitation — how much time the other parent will have with the child. Many courts have a standard schedule, but each parent can ask that it be modified to fit the situations in their case.
Additionally, the court will need to determine what amount of child support should be paid. This decision will be based upon the income of both parents and the other expenses of raising the child, such as child care and health care.
Attorneys of Meek Law Firm know how important child custody issues are to you, and will work with you to make sure that your children are placed in the best possible situation for their welfare. Skilled legal advice from Meek Law Firm. Call (704) 848-6335 to schedule a consultation.
Click here for information on Child Support Law in North Carolina