Charlotte Child Custody Attorneys
Serving Residents in Waxhaw & Surrounding Areas
Reaching a child custody agreement can sometimes be complicated for both the adults and children involved. With the right legal team, you can reach a win-win agreement and potentially change your relationship with your spouse for the better. Let our attorneys support you through your child custody case.
There is a lot at stake with child custody cases as the outcome can impact your future relationship with your child(ren). North Carolina has specific laws on how to divide custody between parents who do not live together. Once a child custody order is issued by the courts, it is critical to comply with the arrangement. Parents have the option to agree on a custody arrangement together without legal assistance, although if they cannot agree, the court will decide on a custody arrangement for them.
When Does a Child Custody Issue Come Up?
Child custody cases arise in different situations, such as:
- As part of a divorce case where both parents share biological child(ren)
- As part of a case where legal paternity of the child needs to be established
- When one parent wants to modify an existing child custody order
Types of Child Custody
First, it is important to understand the distinction between physical custody and legal custody:
This refers to the time each parent gets to physically spend with their child and how the child will divide his/her time between the two parents’ homes.
The other aspect of custody sets out each parent’s right to make important decisions for their child. These include decisions regarding healthcare, religion, education, and more.
There are also different ways to divide custody, including joint custody or sole custody. In most situations, parents will share joint physical custody of their children. One parent might have primary custody while the other has secondary custody, although they both get to spend time with their child.
Sole custody is awarded in cases involving extenuating circumstances. Such circumstances include:
- One parent has a substance abuse problem that prevents him/her from caring for the child
- One parent has engaged in child neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, or emotional abuse
- One parent is incarcerated
- The parents live too far away from one another for shared custody to be reasonable
How Custody Is Determined In North Carolina
North Carolina law requires that all custody determinations be based on what the court finds to be in the best interests of the child. Many states have a presumption that shared custody is in the best interests of the child, though this is not the case in North Carolina. Instead, the court will review each situation on a case-by-case basis to determine what type of custody arrangement is appropriate.
There are many factors that the court will examine to decide what is in the best interests of the child, such as:
- The child’s existing relationship with each parent.
- The child’s specific needs, including any special needs.
- The child’s attachment to the family home, community, other family members, and school.
- The child’s preferences - if they are old and mature enough to express them.
- Any disabilities of a parent that prevent them from caring for the child.
- If either parent has a history of abuse or substance abuse problems.
- Other reasons why a parent might put the child’s health or wellbeing at risk.
Modifying a Child Custody Order
If you have an existing child custody order that you need to change, you can request a modification. If both parents agree on the modifications, they can present them to the court to obtain a new order. However, if one parent challenges the modification, the court will rule on whether the modifications are in the best interest of the child and if there was a substantial change in circumstance to warrant the modification.
What Is Emergency Custody?
Emergency custody may be necessary, and even crucial, in some family law cases. Under North Carolina law and N.C. Gen. Stat. § 50-13.5, a temporary custody order can only be entered if “the court finds that the child is exposed to a substantial risk of bodily injury or sexual abuse or that there is a substantial risk that the child may be abducted or removed from the State of North Carolina for the purpose of evading the jurisdiction of North Carolina courts.” If the judge enters the custody order, then a hearing is held where the judge will evaluate determines that the conditions have been met, a temporary custody order will be in place until either party wants to pursue permanent custody. If you think that you may have grounds for emergency custody, contact one of our Charlotte child custody lawyers today.
Consult With a Member of Our Team Today!
At Blood Law, PLLC, our lawyers understand the importance of obtaining a child custody order that puts your child’s interests first. We have the experience, skill, and patience to help you determine what choices are in the best interest of your child and your family.
Children Come First
With the complexities of family law, we put the well-being and safety of your children at the forefront of your case.
When you work with Blood Law, PLLC, you work with our entire team. Everyone is here to support you through each step.
We create personalized plans for each client while setting realistic expectations on the possible outcomes of the case.
From our first phone call to final signing, our team goes above and beyond to make sure you're getting the attention you deserve.
“Anna guided me through the entire process and answered all of my questions and concerns quickly.”- Debra K.
“Anna is very knowledgeable of the law as well as the local courts and judges.”- Penny N.
“I’m extremely grateful for Anna's help in my time of need.”- Olivia L.