Raleigh Child Custody Attorneys
Child custody is often one of the most challenging issues when a married couple with children chooses to divorce or separate. Child custody can be a contentious issue because of its impact on children and parents. However, determining what type of custody you and your spouse will have is critical to completing the divorce process.
As a parent, few things are as vital to you as the safety and well-being of your children. During a divorce, the first concern often is how to protect children and meet their best interests. A contentious divorce can jeopardize the child and cause undue distress. That’s why the Raleigh child custody lawyers of Marshall & Taylor PLLC fight to help parents navigate the custody process. We understand what you are going through and can help you achieve a favorable resolution that allows you to stay in your child’s life. Contact us at (919) 833-1040 to discuss your legal options and the road ahead. Visit us here to learn more about our divorce practice.
Why Do I Need a Custody Lawyer?
Custody arrangements are naturally much more straightforward if both parents can agree to a plan in an amicable manner. Unfortunately, this is not always possible. Child custody can be an emotional issue, and a battle over custody can take a toll on parents and children. At Marshall & Taylor PLLC, we understand the issues that divorcing parents face. We have seen previous clients’ paths to a peaceful resolution.
When you work with us, you will rest assured that you have an experienced team on your side. We will look out for your and your child’s best interests. We will advise you of your rights and legal options and work hard to find a peaceful resolution to avoid a long, bitter battle.
If your spouse refuses to cooperate or is unwilling to work to find a fair resolution, we are not afraid to fight for you. We have the knowledge and the resources to see your case through to the end. Our satisfied clients will tell you that we get results when it matters most. Don’t hesitate to contact us today, and together we can build a solid custody case for you.
Child Custody Issues
We understand that you would have never proposed to your spouse if you had known the marriage would end in this manner. Undoubtedly, the stress of the divorce is compounded when children are involved, and that is why we have committed our professional careers to helping you find a positive resolution. We are prepared to help you with all types of custody questions including:
- Visitation Rights – We will work to ensure that a healthy parent-child relationship is maintained. If there is a reason why a parent should not be granted visitation rights, we will work hard to show why there is a danger to the child and why the parent needs to seek help before visitation should be granted.
- Sole Custody – The reasons why a parent may seek sole custody are varied and always depend on the specifics of their living situation, relationship with their spouse, and other factors. We will focus on the details and will build a strong case on your behalf if you believe this is the right choice for your family.
- Joint Custody – While the decision to share custody of a child may seem easy at first, there are often some tricky details to outline before an arrangement can be solidified. Let us help you structure an agreement that is fair and takes into account the needs of the child and your needs as a parent.
- Primary / Secondary Physical Custody – We are prepared to help you fight for the custody arrangement that allows for the best care for your children, which may mean primary physical custody. Contact us to discuss the specifics of your situation today.
When it comes to determining a custody agreement that you feel is best for you and your children, having a supportive and knowledgeable lawyer on your side can make the difference between getting the outcome you want and getting one you believe is unsuitable for your family.
North Carolina Statute Regarding Child Custody
According to North Carolina Statute § 50-13.01, a child custody agreement should encourage:
- Both parties to fairly share responsibilities and rights concerning raising their child, even after divorce
- Child-centered parenting arrangements that mitigate the need for the court’s involvement
- A healthy relationship between spouses if it is in the children’s best interest
- Practices and programs reflecting both parents’ participation in their kid’s life despite the couple’s marital status
The main takeaway from this statute is that North Carolina wants to ensure that each parent takes an active role in their children’s lives. However, state laws don’t automatically allow parents equal time with their kids. It depends on the circumstances of the case and what a judge rules after considering all the factors.
Child Custody Statutes Don’t Include Custody Presumptions
North Carolina statutes provide general guidelines and policies for child custody. But they don’t specify how much each parent can see their children. Previously, the “tender year’s doctrine” stated that the mother should get custody of any minor child under four years old. However, North Carolina eliminated that presumption. Many divorcing couples assume they can split the children’s time equally between the parents. But there isn’t a case law or statutory presumption indicating 50/50 time-sharing.
Judges don’t have a starting point to decide who should get custody of children. But some judges might use their presumptions as starting points. For example, some judges believe both parents deserve equal or close to equal custody if they are fit to parent their child. Others think that only one parent should have custody of their kid most of the time to foster stability. That makes it crucial to attempt to agree with your partner without the court’s involvement.
Legal Standards for Child Custody
No presumptions exist in child custody cases in North Carolina. State laws dictate the legal standard for a court to determine child custody arrangements. A judge will consider all the factors required by law and grant custody to the person who can best promote the child’s best interests and welfare. The statute specifies that no presumption exists and also says that a court will consider joint custody if parents request it.
Frequently Asked Questions About Child Custody in North Carolina
Divorce is often the first time people deal with a lawyer or confront legal issues directly affecting them. At Marshall & Taylor PLLC, we work hard to keep our clients informed about the process and their rights, and we want you to be confident in the process. Here are the answers to a few frequently asked questions that may be of assistance to you.
What is the difference between “legal custody” and “physical custody”?
A parent with legal custody makes decisions about the child’s religion, healthcare, and education, to name a few. A parent with physical custody lives with the child and cares for them daily. An experienced child custody attorney can help you determine what type of custody is best for your situation.
How does the court decide how custody should work in a custody dispute?
In the event of a dispute, the court will consider the best interests of the child, as well as the wishes of each parent. The court might consider a history of abuse, the parenting abilities of each parent, and (if the child is old enough) the child’s wishes.
Is joint custody always the best option?
While it is hard to argue that a child will not benefit from the loving involvement of both parents, joint custody may not be proper for every situation. It is up to you and your spouse to determine if you can work together to raise the child and if the child will have a safe and stable environment to grow up in. Certain circumstances make joint custody impossible or unwise. If so, we will fight tenaciously for you and your child to achieve the best possible outcome. Call one of our experienced Raleigh child support lawyers today to discuss your divorce and the ideal situation for your child. We are here to help you.
Contact a Child Custody Lawyer in Raleigh
The team at Marshall & Taylor PLLC knows how complicated the divorce process can be. We strive to provide a calm, knowledgeable presence during this stressful time. We can help guide you through the divorce and custody process.
We understand the specific needs of our friends and neighbors here in Raleigh. We have the experience and resources of a large firm but the personalized service of a small law firm. We’re here to help you in your time of need, so don’t hesitate to contact us today.
You don’t have to take our word for it, though. Read testimonials from just a few of our happy clients here. We know that you have choices when selecting an attorney to help you. We strive to set ourselves apart from the rest with our superior attention to our clients and the details of each case we handle.
If you need help with a child custody arrangement in Raleigh, the attorneys from Marshall & Taylor PLLC understand. We fight for the best interests of our clients and their children. If you are pursuing divorce and need help with your child custody arrangement, call (919) 833-1040 today. We can guide you and provide the support you need.