When a family is no longer living together, the well-being of the children from the relationship is and should be the paramount concern for the adults who have decided to go their separate ways. These custody issues can lead to conflict among divorcing spouses and parents who were never married in the first place and can have lasting emotional impacts on the children from the relationship.
If you are facing the possibility of a custody dispute, the support offered by a compassionate family law attorney is invaluable. While the court is bound to act in the best interest of your child, our Kernersville child custody lawyers will argue to protect your interests in caring for your children.
Different types of child custody exist under the law. Understanding these types of custody arrangements and how they work is very important before pursuing a custody action. The court has the power to award either joint or sole custody to the parents of a minor, depending upon which arrangement will best suit the needs of the child. An experienced attorney will explain the legal options Kernersville parent has available to them regarding child custody.
Physical custody refers to the arrangement between the parents relating to who has the child in their physical care and on what schedule the parents will care for the child. The Judge in your case will be most concerned with which parent is able to best able to care for the child’s physical, emotional, and financial needs.
Joint custody is an arrangement where both parents share responsibilities for the child. This could include sharing duties related to health, education, or welfare of the child.
Sole physical custody means that only one parent has the right to have the child in his or her care. Typically, in order to award sole physical custody, the moving parent must show that the other parent is unfit to exercise physical custody of the child. Give us a call at Apple Payne Law in Kernersville to discuss whether you qualify for an award of sole physical custody of your child.
Legal custody is a category of custody that is separate from physical custody. Legal custody refers to the ability of the parents to make decisions regarding the health, welfare, and education of the child; to access records related to the child; and to contact people who provide educational, religious, and extracurricular services to the child. North Carolina law includes a presumption that both parents have the ability to make decisions for the child, so if you have concerns about the other parent having this type of access, then you should contact a Kernersville family law attorney at Apple Payne Law to discuss your options.
Parents have the opportunity to address child custody issues independent from the court system. Whether married or unmarried, the courts will generally not interfere in the parenting process outside of situations where a child’s safety is in jeopardy.
That said, either parent is entitled to petition the court for a formal declaration of child custody by filing a child custody petition with the courtBarring the presence of very limited circumstances, you will be required to attend child custody mediation prior to having a court hearing. During mediation, a neutral third party works with both parents to resolve the custody dispute and reach a parenting agreement both sides can live with. If mediation is unsuccessful, then you will move forward to preparing for a court hearing. In these cases, a Kernersville attorney at Apple Payne Law will set the case for trial and take all of the necessary steps to secure a favorable custody outcome for children and parents through litigation.
In every case regarding child custody, the court is guided by a standard referred to as the “best interest of the child.” This means that while the court can consider a variety of factors, including the rights of the parents, the ultimate decision regarding child custody must depend on what is the best outcome for the minor child.
A judge must consider different factors when determining a child’s best interests. These include the relationship each parent has with the child as well as the child’s emotional and physical health. The judge must weigh these factors and make the final custody decision using this standard. A proactive lawyer at Apple Payne Law in Kernersville will make the best argument possible that their client’s preferred child custody arrangement is in the best interest of their children.
Custody disputes can be long, drawn-out, and stressful. With the right attorney by your side, you could address the stress that stems from a custody dispute and give yourself the best chance at a favorable outcome.
Do not face your child custody dispute on your own. Reach out to a Kernersville child custody lawyer at Apple Payne Law as soon as possible.