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Child Custody and Support in North Carolina

Child Custody: Most families are concerned with the effects of divorce on their children. There are many resources, including family therapists, that can assist with a smooth transition for the family, especially the children. Many times, both parents are an intricate part of their children’s lives, but even if they aren’t, it is important to focus on what is best for the children now, and in the future. This is a difficult process whether or not you have been married because children are so important.

No other single issue is more emotionally charged and important than matters concerning child custody. For many years, people have fought over the right to obtain custody over their children when a relationship or marriage takes a turn. The help of Easterling Family Law is necessary to protect your rights as a parent.

North Carolina follows the “best interests of the child(ren)” standard, whereby the court takes into account many factors to determine where the child(ren) should reside as their primary residence and which parent should make important decisions in the child(ren)’s life such as educational, religious, and medical decisions.

Factors taken into account for child custody:

  • The mental and physical health of all parties involved.
  • How the child adjusts to his/her environment in school, home, or the community.
  • History of violence by either of the parents.
  • The relationship between the child and each parent.
  • The home environment each parent can provide for the child.
  • The recommendation by an expert witness
  • The wishes of the parents

This is a list of some considerations that could be taken into account. Family law judges will weigh each of these factors, and many more, to determine what they believe is in the child(ren)’s best interest. Remember, this is not necessarily what either parent wants; it is what the judge believes is the best outcome for the child to have the best possible upbringing. Only an experienced child custody attorney can advise you as to what your personal situation means when applying these factors to your case.

Child Custody – Joint vs. Sole Custody

Our lawyers can explain the difference between joint custody and sole custody.

Joint Custody

Joint legal custody is when both parents share equally in the decision-making for each child’s academic education, health care needs, religious education, and extracurricular activities. Joint physical custody means the child(ren) spends a significant amount of time living at each parent’s home.

Sole Custody

Sometimes, sole custody is necessary to protect the children from an abusive situation — usually from a parent that is physically abusive, addicted to drugs or alcohol, or has severe mental health problems and cannot safely care for his or her children. Even in cases where one parent has sole custody, the non-custodial parent often has visitation right and is still able to spend time with the children on a set schedule.

Child Support

Both parents can have issues with understanding the laws and the way in which child support must be paid. More often than not, it’s difficult to sort out who pays the child support, and how it needs to be paid.

The amount of child support is a calculation that was formulated to ensure that children receive support from both of their parents. Establishing child support is an important part of the divorce or separation proceedings, and understanding your responsibilities and rights as a parent can help you to make smart choices for yourself and your children.

Families should estimate of how much money they have spent raising the child(ren) — from major expenses such as room and board, to little costs like school clothes, and school supplies. Most married couples split their parental duties, and it is not uncommon for one parent to know exactly how much all of these child-related things cost and for the other parent to be clueless about the actual cost to raise their child(ren). When both parents understand the costs of caring for a child, or for multiple children, conflict can be avoided.

How can Easterling Law Help you?

Because child support and child custody can be confusing, you need an experienced advocate like those at Easterling Family Law to help you navigate the confusing calculations of child support and can help you determine how to best support your child financially.

Book your appointment now or feel free to call us at 980-272-1365.