Child Custody Attorneys Lake Norman, NC
At Daly Mills Family Law, our Lake Norman child custody lawyers know when parents divorce, the well-being of the children will become their and the family court’s focal point during the proceedings.
Like most parents, our clients are primarily concerned with who will gain physical custody of the kids, so they can ensure they are safe, loved, and cared for as they grow.
When North Carolina parents cannot agree to shared legal and/or physical custody, the court requires the parents to enter mediation to minimize the stress on the children while attempting to agree on custody, visitation, and other important details that will help shape their kids’ lives.
We can help. Our Lake Norman child custody attorneys are dedicated to putting your kids’ best interests first, so we can move forward with a stable plan that ensures that is always true.
What is the Difference Between Child Custody and Visitation in North Carolina?
Like most states, child custody in North Carolina is broken into legal child custody, which includes the right to make major life decisions about a child, and physical custody, which is the right to have the child in your primary care.
The parent who is not awarded physical custody will have visitation rights — or what is called secondary child custody in North Carolina — which includes the right to visit with a child at times outlined in an agreement or court order, sometimes under specific conditions.
Simply put, the parent who has physical custody will live with the child in their home. The parent who has visitation rights, or secondary custody, will have scheduled days, nights, or other times — like certain weekends, school breaks, or holidays — that they spend with the children in their possession.
Legal custody can be awarded to either parent or both parents, so they are both effectively involved in education, religion, and other important aspects of the child’s life even after the divorce.
North Carolina Requires Parents to Seek Child Custody Agreements Through Mediation
North Carolina child custody laws and family law courts typically prefer parents settle their child custody agreement outside of the courtroom to encourage them to do everything they can to settle their disputes and come to an agreement on their own to reduce unnecessary litigation and promote the child’s best interests.
If the parents reach an understanding about child custody out of court, the details of that arrangement are put in writing as a separation agreement or consent order that is presented to the court for approval.
The agreement must clearly outline the duties of each parent regarding child custody.
If the parents cannot reach a child custody agreement on their own or during mediation, the case can be litigated by their attorneys inside the courtroom. Our skilled Lake Norman child custody lawyers can help you understand your legal rights and options to produce the best outcome for your unique case.
What Happens When North Carolina Child Custody Cases Go to Court?
North Carolina family law courts expect both parents to equitably share their parenting duties but know that sometimes parents cannot agree to divide the children’s time — often for very different reasons.
When a judge determines custody, the primary consideration is to best promote the interest and welfare of the child.
While the judge has wide discretion in making child custody determinations, the statute requires the judge to consider all relevant factors, including:
- Acts of domestic violence between the parents
- Age of the child
- Safety of the child
- Specific needs of the child
- Nature of each parent’s home environment
- Each parent’s time available to spend with the child
- Child’s relationship with each parent and with other siblings, when applicable
- Caretaking ability of each parent
- Ability of each parent to provide for the child
The custody order must include written findings of fact that demonstrate why the judge ruled in one parent’s favor, or the considerations concerning the division of custody and visitation between the two.
Our skilled child custody lawyers in Lake Norman represent clients throughout North Carolina by thoughtfully and objectively assessing their cases to carefully plan and execute a legal strategy that is designed to reach their personal objectives.
We dedicate our legal skills and resources to ensure your child custody objectives are pursued and your rights protected from the start.
Whether we are negotiating your family law needs outside the courtroom, or aggressively advocating on your behalf inside the courtroom, our highly trained Lake Norman family lawyers offer personalized attention that ensures open and honest communication at every stage of your case.
As part of our commitment to the Lake Norman area, and the rest of our fellow North Carolinians, our law firm was featured in Limitless Magazine to shine a light on combining our compassion with the legal skills necessary to protect our clients’ futures.
When you partner with our skilled Lake Norman family law attorneys, you can expect dedicated legal services tailored to fit your needs.
By nature, family law is deeply personal and private. We can help ensure it stays that way.
Contact Our Lake Norman Child Custody Attorneys Today for a Consultation
At Daly Mills Family Law, our child custody lawyers in Lake Norman focus on each of our client’s unique legal needs, and that begins by keeping our caseloads small. Each time you contact our office, you will have access to attorneys and support staff who can answer your questions, allay your fears, and develop practical legal solutions that make sense.
That includes legal representation involving:
- Separation Agreements
- Property Division
- Child Custody
- Child Support
- Alimony/Spousal Support
- Dividing Retirement Assets
- LGBTQ Family Law
- Military Divorce
- Domestic Violence
- Father’s Rights
Frequently Asked Questions for Our Lake Norman Child Custody Attorneys
Is It True That the North Carolina Family Courts Favor the Mother Over the Father When Making Child Custody Decisions?
That is not true. North Carolina has abolished any presumption over favoring one parent over another merely because of their parental title when determining child custody. The courts must use the best interest of the child in determining custody in all cases.
How Can I Increase My Chances of Getting a Larger Share of Child Custody?
North Carolina divorces can lead to challenging circumstances, especially when the parents cannot agree on how to share their children’s time. One of the biggest challenges are the things you cannot control — like the other parent’s behaviors. If things become adversarial, and the other parent begins making threats about “taking the kids from you” know that there are legal standards that must be met before that is true.
If challenges persist during your separation, document everything that happens between you, the children, and the other parent while focusing on the things you can control. That includes providing a stable environment for your children, assisting with their personal, developmental, and educational growth, and fostering a positive relationship with the other parent.
Can My Children Decide Who They Want to Live With During a North Carolina Divorce?
In North Carolina, the court may hear the child’s testimony regarding who he or she wants to live with, but only if they have deemed the child of suitable age to make that decision. The catch is, there is no “set age” where their testimony becomes admissible. Instead, it is when the court believes the child understands the proceedings and can make an informed decision about where he or she lives. Even then, it is at the discretion of the judge whether to consider the child’s wishes.
If Both Parents Share Custody Does Either Have to Pay Child Support?
Many factors determine child support based on the parent’s timesharing agreement. They include more than just financial support, but the parents’ incomes and their abilities to pay, who is responsible for the children’s health insurance, childcare costs, and other expenses.
Can a Judge Order Supervised Visitation or No Visitation At All in Certain Child Custody Cases?
Yes, the judge can order supervised visitation or no visitation at all if they find, based on facts and evidence, one parent unfit, or that he or she has acted in another way that is inconsistent with their parental status.