Raleigh, Cary, Durham, and Chapel Hill Child Custody
In Raleigh NC, child custody is one of the most difficult issues involved in separation and divorce cases. Parents have many questions about how they ensure their child(ren) will continue to feel secure and safe during this time of change. Through seeking legal advice regarding child custody laws and the legal implications of different custody arrangements, parents can themselves feel more secure that they will be able to protect the best interests of their child(ren). As a result, they can help their child(ren) to feel more secure and certain of what the future may hold.
Child Custody in North Carolina focuses on a determination of the best interest of the child, and there no longer remains a presumption that mothers or fathers are better primary custodians of children. There are two different types of custody: legal custody and physical custody. It is important to understand and consider the difference in each type of custody so that parents can best work toward advancing their child(ren)’s best interest. Legal custody typically describes how parties will resolve major issues which arise regarding the child(ren); for example, major medical or educational decisions. Physical custody describes which parent the child(ren) is with on which days during the week and on weekends or holidays.
Further, while parents focus on their child’s needs, they should also consider the uniqueness of their particular family. Often families have specific schedules or events which are important to their family, and these attributes need to be considered when setting a custodial schedule for the child(ren). As different as families, parents and children are, there are an unlimited number of custody schedules that can be fashioned to fit a family’s schedule and therefore, create less disruption for the child(ren).
Child Custody issues can be resolved through many various alternative dispute resolution techniques including: settlement negotiations, settlement conferences, mediation, collaborative law, or arbitration. If parties are unable to resolve this issue through any of these methods, they may then proceed to litigation to have a judge determine a custodial schedule that is in the child(ren)’s best interest. Mediation for Child Custody issues is required by the Wake County Local Rules of Court and therefore, parties are required to attend mediation prior to having a trial on this issue. Court-ordered mediation is available at no cost; however, this service addresses only the custody issue and no other issues such as child support, spousal support, or property distribution.