Unless there is a court order to the contrary, both parents have rights to their child. In fact, these rights are constitutionally protected. However, issues may arise where you need to protect those rights. In these situations, seeking advice of a Charlotte child custody lawyer is wise.
Child custody and visitation cases can be the most difficult processes for individuals to go through, whether they come to an agreement or not. Child custody and visitation can be addressed and handled in a separation agreement or parenting agreement. However, if the parties are not able to resolve issues of custody and visitation in an agreement, they are left with seeking assistance from the court.
If an action for child custody and visitation is filed, the court will seek to obtain a custody and visitation schedule that is in the “best interest of the minor child.” The process can become very complicated and may include third parties such as guardian ad litems and grandparents. The outcome will depend on many things, including a parent’s involvement, education, household structure and his or her ability to raise the child. The court’s ruling may result in joint physical custody, joint legal custody, primary physical custody with visitation and so on. However, in brief, Physical Custody establishes when and where the child will live and Legal Custody establishes who will make the important decisions for the child such as medical or education. There are many different schedules that the court can apply. The complications of child custody matters are very apparent, and it is highly advisable that you seek the guidance of a skilled child custody attorney.
A frequent question is whether your child’s opinion will be heard by the court. The answer being that it is in the judge’s discretion whether to allow your child to testify or speak with the judge in his or her chambers. The judge will take into consideration the age and maturity of the child when making that decision. The wishes of a child who is “of sufficient age to exercise discretion” is given considerable weight, but does not control the court.
North Carolina Custody Modification Lawyer
It is important to note that “permanent” doesn’t mean “permanent.” Under North Carolina law, any order relating to a child is always modifiable by a court. Custody orders are not permanent but remain modifiable upon a showing of the appropriate evidence of changed circumstances.
However, a parent may always request a modification of a custody order. We typically see issues arise as the child gets older. In order to modify a custody order, the party seeking to modify the order must show a substantial and material change of circumstances that materially affects the best interests and welfare of the child.