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.
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.
Divorce is complex. Not only is it usually an unexpected process, but it can stir up many emotions and negativity. Because of that, many North Carolina parents seek to do everything they can to protect their children throughout and following marriage dissolution. When amicability is possible and fair and open communication is present, a co-parenting relationship is often sought by parents. But this does not mean this child custody agreement is not filled with its obstacles and pitfalls. While no custody arrangement is perfect, there are ways to make them more successful.
Although couples in North Carolina and other states across the nation don't intend to divorce when they decide to tie the knot, divorce is as common as ever in our soicety. Because roughly half of all marriages end in divorce, there are many broken families. Most divorcing parents seek to protect the best interests of their children, and one step to help ensure that is by developing a fair and workable child custody agreement.
Most North Carolina parents see their children as a blessing and only want what is best for them. They will also go out of their way to protect their kids from harm, be it physical or emotional. As a result, many parents are willing to put their children's well-being ahead of their own. Unfortunately, sometimes a situation between two adults becomes untenable, and a separation or divorce is the best course of action for everyone involved in the long run, even if the kids may be confused and upset by it. When this occurs, it is important that parents remember the kids when they deal with potentially contentious issues such as custody and visitation.
Most North Carolinians have probably heard of mediation, if only in the news or on legal television shows. They might also understand that it is considered an 'alternative dispute resolution method.' This method, which provides an alternative to litigation, is often used in family law cases like divorce and child custody. There may be a few reasons why mediation might be a good option in certain cases, but one should always understand that using such an alternative process without legal advice might not be a great idea.
We've previously discussed several aspects of child custody cases in North Carolina. As many readers will no doubt remember, child custody can be decided as part of a divorce proceeding, or as a separate petition, sometimes along with other issues such as paternity and child support. A few weeks ago, we touched on the differences between 'sole' and 'joint' custody. To refresh, sole custody is given to one parent, while both parents are involved in a joint custody arrangement.
Perhaps the hardest part of a divorce or non-marital paternity case is determining how to divide the time parents can spend with their children. When two separate households are involved, it is often the case that some compromises will have to be made and that no one party will be given everything he or she wishes for. However, the more parents can work together to find common ground, the better the chances of both being satisfied with the child custody arrangements.
This blog has previously touched on the basic types of child custody that are used by North Carolina family courts in divorce and non-marital custody determinations. To refresh, there is legal custody, which deals with decision-making regarding the child's health, education, and other important issues, and physical custody, which determines where the child will reside. Either of these types of custody can be 'joint' or 'sole,' meaning that either both parties, or only one parent, will have that type of custody. A common arrangement is to give both parents joint legal custody, while giving one parent sole physical custody.
Under North Carolina law, there are different types of child custody. The main types are joint custody and sole custody. As is always true when considering child custody, what is in the best interests of the child is the guiding principle when determining child custody. However, North Carolina courts also consider the child's wishes, which may not necessarily be the same as the solution the court determines is in the child's best interests.