Freedom Law – North Carolina

Child Custody Lawyer in Charlotte NC

Child custody is often the most contentious aspect of family law and often includes third-party custody claims and grandparent’s visitation rights. It is also the least predictable area of family law. In North Carolina, the courts will seek to establish a custody schedule that they believe is in the child’s best interests. But what does that mean? At Freedom Law | North Carolina, we will sit down with each client and discuss realistic custody outcomes with you to clearly understand child custody in North Carolina and the outcome(s) you may be facing.

In a custody case, the court determines who will be given legal and physical custody of a minor child. Child custody arrangements are decided with the child’s best interests in mind, and courts may order joint or sole custody. At Freedom Law | North Carolina, we do our best not only to help you navigate your child custody case, but also try to help parents avoid a child custody battle that could be traumatic for everyone involved.

Types of custody

Legal Custody

North Carolina defines child custody as legal and physical custody. Legal custody refers to the legal right to make decisions for your child. These decisions are ones of lasting significance, such as where a child is educated and how, religion, and major medical treatments. They are not the day-to-day decisions parents make every day. Legal custody may be shared between the parties, assigned to one parent, or be a combination of the two.

Physical Custody

Physical custody is where the child(ren) lives. Parents may be awarded sole, primary, or joint (shared) custody in North Carolina. But what does that really mean, and what does that look like? Often, the answer is unclear, especially if your child custody manner is being determined by a judge instead of the parties. There is not a one-size-fits-all custody schedule. Each case is determined on a case-by-case basis after considering what is in the best interests of the child. Common factors the court will consider when determining what is in the best interests of the child include, but are far from being limited to, domestic violence in the home, the minor child’s safety, the minor child’s current living arrangements, or past living arrangement, the minor child’s relationship with each parent, the parent’s relationship with the minor child, and the future living arrangements of the parents. The court will also consider the “fitness” of each parent to have custody and control of their child.

Grandparent’s Rights

North Carolina allows grandparents to seek visitation or custody in certain limited situations. If you are a grandparent that has had a close relationship with your grandchild and have reason to seek custody or visitation with your grandchild(ren), call us at Freedom Law | North Carolina to discuss your options.

Third-Party Custody

Third-party custody is sought by someone who is not a parent of a child. A court may remove legal and/or physical custody from one or both parents and vest the custody to the third party seeking custody in certain circumstances. Third-party custody is one of the most complex areas of child custody. If you are considering seeking custody of a child that is not yours, Freedom Law | North Carolina is skilled in third-party custody claims. Contact us to learn more about your options.

Factors Considered in Legal Custody Decisions

In a child custody case, relevant factors such as abuse, domestic violence, and negligence are given utmost importance. The family court will also consider each parent’s fitness and capacity to make major decisions about custody. If there is an existing child custody agreement that needs to be revised because the situation has changed, we can help with that as well. 

To learn more about custody issues, check out our North Carolina child custody law FAQ.

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