Divorce is typically a trying circumstance for anyone to experience, but when children are involved, things can get a lot more complicated. If you have decided it’s time to part ways with your children’s other parent, custody will be the number one issue to resolve. It tends to evoke the most emotion and can cause a serious disruption in the children’s lives. To minimize the stress on everyone, it’s hopeful that a decision can be made quickly, but before being awarded child custody in NC, you must go through the appropriate process.
If you are hoping to gain child custody in NC, one of the most important things you should know is that the state’s laws make a concerted effort to keep child custody battles from existing. Ideally, divorcing or separating couples would be able to reach a mutual agreement about what is best for the needs of the children and figure out an effective co-parenting plan. This is why many counties in North Carolina require mandatory mediation before any custody case can be taken to court. A third-party mediator will be present during these private sessions to help work out custody and visitation arrangements. Though mediation is the first step to obtaining child custody in NC, there is no rule that you have to work out an agreement. You should never feel pressured to settle on something as crucial as your child’s future living conditions. If no reasonable solution can be reached, a custody hearing will be scheduled.
The next step will be to file a custody action with the courts. To ensure all the required documents are completed and submitted correctly, it’s best to work with a lawyer who specializes in family law and child custody in NC. There must then be a service of process, which means notifying the other parent that a petition has been filed. The court has a specified manner in which they are to be served, otherwise it won’t be recognized by the law.
Once it is time for your custody case to go before a judge, you and the other party will both be given the opportunity to present evidence indicating why you should be awarded primary custody. In reviewing the case made by both sides, the judge will take a variety of factors into consideration before deciding how best to promote the welfare of the children. Most times when determining child custody in NC, the court will look at elements such as:
- Each parents’:
- care-taking capabilities
- living environment
- financial conditions
- work schedule
- drug or alcohol abuse
- accusations of domestic violence and
- The child’s preference.
Trust Emblem Legal for proper assistance with child custody in NC
At Emblem Legal, where family law is our specialty, we understand that there is nothing more important than making sure children end up in the care of the most suitable parent. You can rest assured that we will fight on your behalf to show why your children belong with you. For assistance with child custody in NC, call us to schedule a consultation.