|A major component of divorce is the dissolution of the family unit and its effect on minor children. In North Carolina, the “best interest of the child” is the standard used in determining physical custody, visitation, and child support. Generally, a child’s interest is best served when parents work together in implementing a co-parenting partnerhsip arrangement.The North Carolina courts offer a number of avenues which the parties can educate themselves about the advantages of working together to facilitate the smooth transition for their children. This includes court ordered custody mediation between the parties as well as parenting coordinators to assist parties who do not communicate well or who cannot agree on methods of parenting.Child custody can take shape in different forms and include joint custody as well as sole custody arrangements. While these terms have particular legal meaning, the emphasis is on where the child will live (physical custody) and who is in charge of making decisions on behalf of the child (legal custody). The courts encourage family members to work these matters out amongst themselves, again, with an emphasis on the “best interest of the child.” Child custody arrangements can be modified (by the courts or otherwise) if the moving party can show that there has been a substantial and material change affecting the best interest and welfare of the child.
Frequently, the issue of child custody can be resolved in a “Separation Agreement.” A Separation Agreement is a legally binding contract that can that frequently outline how property will be divided, how much spousal support / alimony, if any, is to be paid, and how child custody and child support is to be structured.
The attorneys at Everett Law Firm, P. A. are uniquely qualified to assist clients in all aspects of family law including child custody, child support, separation agreements, equitable distribution, alimony, and divorce. Our office is located in Chapel Hill and in addition to Orange County, we service Wake, Durham, Alamance and most surrounding counties. Call Everett Law Firm, P. A. today at (919) 942-8002 to discuss your case with one of our lawyers. A small initial consultation fee may apply for “in person” meetings.