Child Custody / Visitation

Divorce is complex and emotionally charged on its own. Adding children into the equation makes the process that much more complicated. At Capital to Coast NC Law Group, we make sure to help you and your spouse find fair and flexible solutions during this difficult time. We can help you understand all of your options and work with you to find a tailored solution to fit your family’s needs.

Legal Custody

There are several ways to establish legal and physical custody, and each case varies based on the particular situation. Legal custody is the right and responsibility to make important and significant decisions for a child. A judge and/or the involved parties define what the extent of the legal custody is and what may be in the child’s best interest in a given situation. The rights associated with legal custody could include the right to make decisions regarding education, health care, and religious issues.

When the parents have joint legal custody, they must both work together to make these decisions. Joint legal custody is when both parents have equal rights to make decisions on behalf of the child. These jointly made decisions are in place to maintain consistency in the child’s life, regardless of which parent they are with physically.

Physical Custody

Physical custody involves the physical care and supervision of a child. It deals with the child’s physical location and which parent they are with currently. The parent who has physical custody is generally the one who makes everyday decisions for the child.

Parents can have sole or joint custody depending on the arrangement. In North Carolina, joint physical custody means the child lives equally with both parents, with the living arrangements customized depending on the needs of the family. For example, the child alternates weeks or weekends with the parents.

What Factors Do The Courts Consider In Granting Custody?

They usually look at who has primarily taken care of the child during the marriage (for example, washing, feeding and clothing the child, or helping the child with homework), who has the best approach to discipline, who has cared for the child since separation (if the couple has already separated), what work schedules either or both parents have, and how each parent can provide for the physical, emotional, educational, religious and social needs of the child.

Visitation

If they would like additional time with their child, an agreement must be reached between both of the parents. In North Carolina, both the mother and father are looked at equally when it comes to visitation. The courts of most states, including North Carolina, do not establish an automatic preference for either the mother or father, but they do look very closely at which parent will best promote the welfare and interests of the children of the couple. In essence, a father stands on equal ground as the mother. A mother is not favored any more than the father in North Carolina.

Several factors may influence the settlement of the visitation schedule, including the child’s:

  • School and activities schedule
  • Age
  • Availability of each parent
  • Distance between each of the parent’s homes

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From the very beginning, she was professional, understanding, and took great care to explain the legal process to us. She went far beyond what one would normally expect from an attorney and in doing so successfully achieved the goal we hoped for. We highly recommend Kellie Gonzalez for any occasion that calls for an attorney. – K, Family Law Client

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When you are in need of an experienced child custody attorney, you can take comfort in knowing that you have the dedicated team at Capital to Coast NC Law Group located in Cary, Greenville, and Emerald Isle on your side. Contact us today and let us help you ensure the best possible outcome for your child.

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