Child Custody

North Carolina child custody law governs rights and responsibilities for the care of unemancipated minors, who have not yet reached the age of 18, or who have reached the age of majority but who suffer from certain types of mental or physical disabilities. Disputes over physical custody and visitation, as well as legal custody (the right to access medical and educational records and to make or participate in the making of decisions on behalf of the minor child) are often one of the most fiercely contested areas of family law. Custody encompasses all facts and evidence which can be shown to affect the best interest, health, and welfare of your minor child. There is no longer any preference for mothers of fathers under North Carolina law, the so-called “tender years” presumptions. The Court, in deciding between parents, must take into consideration the whole picture and will award custody based upon what the judge believes to be in the best interests of the child. This is necessarily a fact-driven analysis which is undertaken on a case-by-case basis. The Court may order, after considering all the evidence presented, award sole custody to one parent, shared custody between the parents, or primary physical custody to one parent and secondary custody, or “visitation” for the other. In cases involving more than one child, split custody arrangements (where each child resides with a particular parent) are a possibility but a very rare occurrence.

In part, because child custody determinations are so heavily dependent upon the facts in evidence, having competent legal counsel there to represent you is crucial to obtaining your desired result. You may have evidence that your spouse is not properly suited to care for your minor child, or that a particular custodial arrangement would or wouldn’t be in the child’s best interest. All this evidence is meaningless, however, if you do not know how to get it before the Court. At Hodges Coxe Potter & Phillips, LLP, we understand that your children are your number one priority. We work diligently and tirelessly to represent your custodial rights and to protect your children and serve their best interest. Contact us today for a free consultation at (910) 772-1678.

Practicing in this Field

Colleen H. Moran

Attorney at Law

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Child Custody