Child Custody in North Carolina: An Overview

child custody dispute

Custody is often the most important aspect of separation and/or divorce. In cases where parties are able to agree on custody out of court, we are able to work with our client to ensure that the proper instruments (e.g., parenting agreements, separation agreements, or court orders) are in place to protect the integrity of the parties’ agreement. If the parties are unable to agree, what happens? A judge will ultimately decide custody if the parties cannot agree in mediation or out of court.  Custody can be the most contentious type of case.  We have litigated many custody cases involving all possible avenues—from emergency custody to cases lasting several years, relocation cases,  cases that require depositions, therapists, child witnesses, abuse, and more.  We believe custody is crucial – nothing is more important than a child or children.  We will work together to develop a strategy to obtain or preserve the custody you believe is best for your children.

The overarching consideration in every child custody case is the best interest of the minor child(ren).  Custody has two components:  legal and physical. Legal custody refers to decision-making and control over things such as education, religion, health, & welfare.  Many of our clients have joint legal custody, meaning the parents share these responsibilities.  This is by far the most common form of legal custody, but that does not mean it is right for every case.  If you have a legal custody issue, please contact our office to set up a consultation.

Physical custody is what it sounds like – the schedule that determines where the child(ren) physically are at any given time.  Here are two examples of common schedules that occur:

  • 2-2-3: Under this schedule, there are set days with rotating weekends.  For example, parent A has every Monday and Tuesday, parent B has every Wednesday and Thursday, and the parents rotate every other Friday to Sunday.  Many parents like the predictability and stability that this schedule can provide.
  • Every other weekend: Under this schedule, one parent typically has the children during the week. The other parent has custody every other weekend, and often for a dinner visit on the off weeks.

Relocation can be a very large problem when it comes to custody. We handle a lot of relocation cases and are particularly versed in litigating when folks have left the area or North Carolina entirely. Any seasoned custody lawyer will tell you that no relocation case is easy. These cases come with particular challenges for both parent and child(ren). We are up to the challenge and ready to help you come up with a plan of action to achieve the best possible result, even in the difficult circumstances afforded by sharing custody of a child across a distance.

Get in Touch with Our Knowledgeable North Carolina Child Custody Lawyers

Our family lawyers understand the emotional and legal complexities that accompany custody disputes. We are dedicated to providing you with the personalized attention and representation needed to protect your rights and the best interests of your children. Don’t navigate this challenging journey alone. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our experienced family attorney and take the first step towards securing your family’s future. Together, we can work towards a resolution that honors your parental rights and prioritizes the well-being of your children.