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Greenville Family Law Blog

Do kids have any say regarding whether they will be adopted?

Adoption can be a very meaningful process for both prospective parents and the children they hope to bring into their families. Often when an individual or couple decides that they want to adopt, they dedicate their heart and soul to making the process successful and transitioning their child into an environment of love and support. All across North Carolina, parents have successfully completed domestic and international adoptions to expand their families and fill their homes with love.

However, much of the time during the adoption process there is an important voice that may not be heard: that of the child. Although many children who need homes look forward to the day that they may join their forever families, some may be wary or even uncomfortable about the prospects of becoming someone's child.

During divorce, get help and make kids a priority

Ending a marriage is stressful and emotionally taxing. Even when the parties to the divorce agree that terminating their marriage is the right decision it can be very hard on North Carolina residents to make the many difficult decisions that must be worked through in order to separate their lives from those of their spouses. There are steps that they can take, though, that can ease the burden of divorce and can help divorcing parents make their children's well-beings priorities in their divorce proceedings.

First and foremost it can be incredibly beneficial to a divorcing party to have the help of a legal professional as they prepare their pleadings and negotiate property, support and custody terms. Not only can a lawyer advise their client on the laws that govern their divorce but also on how courts may view their preferences and needs with regard to making judicial orders concerning the parties' kids.

Custodial interference can put a strain on parenting plans

In a perfect world every parent who must share time with their kids with their ex-partner would follow the terms of their custody agreement or order to the specific letter of the document. No parent would drop their child off late during a hand-off and no parent would attempt to sway the feelings of their child away from the child's other custodial parent. Sadly, it is not a perfect world and North Carolina parents who have had to put up with conflicts over the terms of their custody documents understand how easy it can be for a parent to interfere with the other parent's time with the kids.

A parent may choose to keep their kids longer than ordered in their custody document in order to punish the other parent or get back at them for some perceived wrong. A parent may speak ill of their child's other biological parent in order to create stress and strain the relationship between the child and their other biological parent.

Enforcing an out-of-state child support order in North Carolina

Not that long ago Americans spent much of their lives living in the same communities where their parents grew up. It was not uncommon for individuals to stay near their places of birth for the entirety of their lives and raise their families in the same towns they grew up in. A lot has changed, though, and now many of the residents of North Carolina have moved into the state from other states as well as nations across the world.

Due to the transient nature of the modern population, it is not uncommon for the North Carolina courts to find themselves asked to enforce family law orders that were created in other jurisdictions. For example, consider a mother who divorced her child's father in Florida. Then imagine that the mother and child relocated to North Carolina, but that the child was still a minor and in need of the financial support provided for them under the Florida child support order. Are the North Carolina courts obligated to enforce the terms of an order that were not generated under the state's laws?

Our firm provides legal support for adoptions

Not long ago this Greenville family law blog offered an article on the many different types of adoptions that North Carolina residents may endeavor to complete in order to expand their families. Stepparents may seek to adopt their spouses' children through stepparent adoptions. Individuals may wish to adopt children from within the country through open or closed processes. Others may wish to bring children from other countries into their lives through international adoptions.

Every type of adoption is special but also complicated by different laws and different requirements that can, if neglected, hold up or prevent a loving person from securing a legal relationship with a child. Losing the opportunity to legally bond with a child can be heartbreaking and for this reason The Graham.Nuckolls.Conner Law Firm, PLLC, represents people who are involved in the adoption process.

Special rules that apply to North Carolina adoptions

A legal adoption allows a person to join the family of another person and to benefit from that affiliation. In North Carolina it is often children who are adopted into the families of others, but interestingly enough adults may also be adopted under the state's laws. This informative post will introduce some of the state's adoption rules, but it is in no way comprehensive. Readers who want to learn more about adoption are asked to bring their questions up to a family law attorney.

As mentioned in the introduction to this post, adults may be adopted in the state of North Carolina. That is to say, an adult can be made the legal child of another person and may therefore inherit under their adoptive parent's estate. A limit to the rule prevents a spouse from adopting their marital partner.

What events end child support in North Carolina?

When a person brings a child into the world they are obligated to provide for that child financially as the youth grows into an adult. Generally, in North Carolina and many other jurisdictions throughout the country, a parent's child support obligation lasts until the child reaches the age of majority, which in North Carolina is 18 years of age. However, a child support obligation can end earlier if certain conditions are met.

For example, if a child becomes emancipated from their parents before reaching the age of majority, then their parents are no longer obligated to provide them with financial support. Emancipation can be obtained in a number of ways. A child may petition a court to be released from the care of their parents, the child may marry or the child may enlist in the military as a means of achieving emancipation.

Best interests of the child standard and child custody cases

Just as parents take proactive steps to support their kids and see that their needs are met, so too do North Carolina courts work to meet the needs of the children whose legal interests pass through their chambers. To this end, courts that handle child custody matters follow a standard that places the best interests of the children at the forefront of all legal decisions that will affect the children's upbringing. Keep in mind, though, that all children are unique and have diverse needs. Therefore, courts may issue very different child custody orders depending upon the circumstances they encounter.

There are many factors that courts can weigh when deciding on a custodial arrangement that will serve a child's interests and meet their needs. A court may evaluate a child's relationship with their parents and may consider which parent, if either, would be a better full-time custodian for the child. The court will consider the parents' abilities to provide secure homes for the child and will also take into consideration any history of violence that may exist in the family or accusations of violence that may be lodged against one parent.

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.

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The Graham.Nuckolls.Conner. Law Firm, PLLC
321 Evans Street, Suite 200
Hendrix Building
Greenville, NC 27858

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