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Greenville Family Law Blog

What is the difference between an open and closed adoption?

The decision to place one's child up for adoption is an incredibly difficult one. A North Carolina woman may feel uncertainty and fear as she weighs her ability to take care of her unborn child against the opportunities the child may have if adopted into a supportive and loving home. The woman may wonder if she will be able to live her life not knowing where her baby ended up or how they are doing. A birth mother's ability to stay in contact with a child she placed up for adoption will depend upon whether the adoption was open or closed.

In the past most adoptions were closed. In these arrangements a birth mother had no contact with her child's adoptive parents or with the child. Records regarding the adoption were often sealed and it could be very difficult for a child to track down their birth parents after time passed since the finalization of their adoption.

Your child's financial needs may be met through child support

Children are a beautiful reminder of just how kind and unassuming the world can be. Children throughout North Carolina exhibit an innocence that, in some cases, is lost as age and experience teach them that they will have to face many challenges during their lifetimes. Many parents want to hold onto that goodness for as long as possible and seek to keep their kids well-cared for while they are still young.

Parents who do not live with their children, though, may not have the same opportunities to protect and provide for their minor children. When child custody determinations place children in the sole physical custody of just one parent, the noncustodial parent may only get to see their child during specific visitation periods and predetermined holidays. Although these times together can make a big impact on kids there is another action noncustodial parents can take to promote the best interests of their minor children.

An overview of North Carolina's child custody laws

The divorce of two North Carolina parents can result in the creation of a child custody order. Child custody orders establish the responsibilities of the child's parents once they have officially ended their legal union. There are a variety of ways that custody can be divided, and this post will briefly touch on some of the types of child custody arrangements. Readers are reminded, though, that their child custody plans may take on different characteristics as no two familial situations are the same.

First, there are two types of custody that a court may assign in an order: physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody covers where a child will live and if they will have visitation time with anyone else. In North Carolina grandparents can petition for visitation time with their grandchildren.

Can the state take my tax return if I don't pay child support?

Parents who are ordered to pay child support are not being punished by the courts. In North Carolina courts mandate that noncustodial parents pay support for the care and maintenance of their kids so that those children receive the financial assistance necessary to lead productive, successful lives. However, when a parent elects not to pay a support obligation as ordered by the court, they may feel the effects of enforcement efforts in a number of ways.

One of the most common methods that Child Support Services helps individuals collect owed child support is through withholdings from the parents' wages. A parent may see a percentage of their paycheck deducted until their owed child support obligation is paid off. Additionally, withholdings may be imposed upon other means of income for noncustodial parents, including but not limited to workers' compensation benefits, Social Security benefits and unemployment benefits.

International adoption rule stops couple from bringing kids home

An American couple that had previously completed two successful international adoptions is now facing trouble as it seeks to complete two additional international adoptions for children from the nation of Uganda. The struggle this family is currently experiencing may serve as a good reminder to North Carolina families that wish to grow through international adoption that the requirements of this process can vary greatly and the success of which may depend upon the laws that apply to the nation where the adoptions are to occur.

The parents in this family adopted two children from Ethiopia in the past and now hope to bring two children from Uganda home. However, according to American immigration law in order for a child from Uganda to be adopted at least one of their biological parents must be deceased. The two children that the couple had adopted were in an orphanage and their records showed that each had a deceased parent. However, upon investigation, it was discovered that in both cases the children's biological parents had lied and that neither had a deceased biological parent.

Changes to child custody agreements and orders may be possible

The Graham.Nuckolls.Conner. Law Firm, PLLC, is located in Greenville, North Carolina. It offers its clients a wide range of family law legal services including but not limited to guidance and representation on divorce, child and spousal support and adoption. The attorneys of the firm also help their clients work out child custody arrangements that may be incorporated into court-enforceable agreements and orders.

Once a child custody plan or agreement is made into a court order it cannot be changed without petitioning the court and demonstrating that modifications are necessary to protect the interests of the children subject to the existing order. Although it is not impossible to change a custody order, there are steps that that individuals must take to ensure that their efforts are successful.

Is it Time to Clean up your Criminal Record?

Most people mistakenly believe that once their charges have been dismissed that they are gone forever and they no longer have to worry about them. It is not until they apply for a new job or admission into a new school that they realize that they are still paying for their past mistakes, or for false charges for which they were not convicted. The dismissed charges continue to appear on their criminal record despite the fact that they were never convicted. To have that charge removed from your record permanently you would need to petition the court for what is known as an expunction or expungement.

International adoption can be both challenging and rewarding

The process of adoption creates a legal bond between an adult and a child. While children born to their biological parents are recognized as the legal offspring of those adults, youths who become the sons and daughters of adults who are not their biological parents must do so through adoption. Greenville parents who have chosen to expand their families through adoption understand that the process can be both challenging and rewarding.

There are different paths that people can take to adoption. Some may choose to foster children from their community before applying to adopt them. Others may forego fostering and may seek to adopt children from the United States through domestic adoption groups. Still others may wish to adopt children from other countries through the process of international adoption.

Ways an attorney can help in a child support matter

It is quite possible that Greenville, North Carolina residents do not strongly consider retaining an attorney in a child support case simply because they may not see the full value in doing so.

When it comes to enforcing support, the criminal justice system can often offer valuable assistance, and can, frankly, sometimes do at a lower cost than it would take to hire an attorney. With respect to getting child support set up in the first place, like other states, North Carolina has a set formula for calculating support and to some extent, the numbers entered are not subject to meaningful debate, or so one might think.

Important considerations when pursuing stepparent adoption

The beauty of a family is that it can take on a diversity of sizes and shapes and still be bound together with undying love. Throughout Greenville families exist within single parent households, in arrangements where grandkids live with their grandparents, in blended families created through remarriage, and many other permutations that link together people through blood and the law.

Families can grow through adoption and this family law blog has previously discussed some of the ways that individuals may open their homes to children who need forever parents. This post will discuss some of the issues that may come up when a stepparent seeks to adopt the children of their spouse.

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