Raleigh Child Custody Lawyers
When a family is dealing with divorce, the welfare of the couple’s children should be of primary concern. And it is best for all involved if decisions about child custody — which spouse the child will live with, how the child will be cared for, etc. — are made before the couple take their divorce to court.
The dedicated Raleigh child custody attorneys of Kurtz & Blum, PLLC, have extensive experience working with couples to negotiate arrangements and settle associated parenting issues. We aim to help divorcing spouses put personal feelings aside to do what is best for their children. Our knowledgeable legal team can then prepare a consent order that allows the court to ratify their agreement as part of their divorce settlement.
Sometimes, even though both parents love the child, there is a disagreement about custody and a court hearing is necessary. Our skilled family law attorneys help parents protect their relationship with their children and work to persuade the judge that our clients’ proposed custodial arrangements are best for meeting the children’s needs.
Child custody arrangements that are handled incorrectly can have a detrimental and long-lasting emotional impact on the children involved ─ and the parents. Contact Kurtz & Blum today to schedule a consultation with our experienced Raleigh child custody attorneys.
How Our Child Custody Attorneys Can Help You
In a North Carolina child custody case, both parents start with equal rights to share joint custody of their children. A judge will order final arrangements according to what he or she believes is best for the children, but in most cases, the judge will go along with an agreement presented by both parents.
Our experienced Raleigh child custody lawyers can help you work with your spouse on developing an arrangement that fits your family and each individual child. There are numerous issues that may need to be addressed, and each family is unique when it comes to developing a custody agreement. Among the issues we could work to help you settle are:
- Ensuring that both parents retain an active role in the child’s life, which includes setting up a specific visitation schedule for the noncustodial parent
- Making sure there is minimal change or loss in the child’s life regarding school, church, family friends, pets, participation in sports and other activities, etc.
- Ensuring the child’s medical, developmental, nutrition, and diet needs are met and continue to be met as the child ages and needs change
- Determining how and with which parent the child will spend holidays, birthdays, and other special occasions
- Reaching an agreement in each household as to rules of conduct, such as for cellphone use / screen time, homework time, curfews, R-rated movies, concerts, overnight visits, etc., and appropriate discipline for violations
- Developing requirements for either parent to notify the other in a timely manner when changes in their schedule will affect visitation, holiday plans, participation in planned activities, etc.
- Setting requirements for parents to discuss and come to agreement in a timely manner prior to major changes or disruption in the child’s life, such as a parent’s relocation, lengthy trips or vacations, participation in potentially injurious sports or other activities, tattoos and body piercings, large and/or expensive gifts, etc.
- Determining guidelines for introducing children to either parent’s dating partners / romantic interests
- Deciding how the parents will address future conflicts
Working through all these issues can be a lengthy exercise, but it is crucial to take the time to spell out every aspect of your agreement for inclusion in your divorce decree.
Unfortunately, it is common for child custody issues to become a major sticking point in a divorce. Some couples have disagreements that are unreconcilable, and children can become part of the argument. An all-out child custody battle is contentious and demanding. If you must prove that you are the better parent, you’ll need to get ready for a taxing ordeal.
Our knowledgeable and compassionate child custody lawyers have worked with parents going through both amicable and difficult divorces. No matter what your situation, we can help you protect your rights and your children’s best interests.
How Does Child Custody Work in North Carolina?
In North Carolina, divorcing parents are urged to come to a child custody arrangement before getting a judge involved. Divorcing spouses who can come to agreement may set down child custody arrangements as part of a legal separation, with terms becoming a consent order included in the final divorce decree.
Child custody arrangements address the affected children’s general welfare, education, medical care, religious training, and leisure or recreational activities. A child custody agreement should not be a cookie-cutter arrangement. It should clearly and specifically address each child’s and the family’s unique needs as they exist now and with ability to adapt in the future.
Types of Child Custody in North Carolina
Custody of underage children after a divorce in North Carolina takes two forms:
- Physical custody, or providing and sharing a home with the child
- Legal custody, or assuming the authority to make decisions about the child’s life
Typically, one parent assumes physical custody, and both parents share legal custody. A visitation arrangement will address the noncustodial parent’s rights to see and spend time with the children. Joint custody is possible if the parents work well together and can come to an amicable agreement.
Will My Child Custody Case Go to Court?
If our attorneys can help divorcing parents develop child custody arrangements prior to going to court, we can draft a consent order based on the agreement. The consent order will be worded to ensure the agreement is enforceable and so that misunderstandings or disagreements are less likely to arise later. The consent order can then be ratified by the court as part of the final divorce order.
When divorcing spouses cannot agree, North Carolina law directs the court to decide child custody matters according to “the best interests and welfare of the child.” It is rare for a judge to award sole custody to one parent unless there is convincing evidence of abuse or neglect of the child.
North Carolina Child Custody Laws
North Carolina child custody law does not give one gender preference over the other, and it grants unwed fathers eligibility to obtain visitation rights.
North Carolina also allows grandparents to take custody of their underage grandchildren via court order if they can show that both parents are unfit or have neglected the child. Grandparents may also obtain visitation rights if they can demonstrate that the parents have an ongoing custody dispute and the grandparents’ presence would serve the child’s best interests.
If you need help with a child custody case, schedule a consultation with the knowledgeable family law attorneys of Kurtz & Blum today. We can advise you about legal issues and help keep you centered on what’s truly best for your child.
Contact Our Raleigh Child Custody Attorneys
If you are a parent contemplating separation and divorce in Wake County or central North Carolina, the experienced Raleigh child custody lawyers of Kurtz & Blum can help you negotiate fair custody and visitation arrangements. We can also work with you on child support issues that may arise as you develop an appropriate parenting plan. If necessary, we can litigate on your behalf in pursuit of a court order for proper arrangements.
You have the right to a relationship with your child. Contact us at (919) 832-7700 today to discuss your child custody issues.