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Child Custody Lawyers

Child custody and visitation are emotionally-charged issues that can easily become the greatest sources of conflict in a divorce or separation.  But, even with all the emotions spurred by the question of how and where children will be raised, many separating parents are able to come to a fair and mutual agreement about custody and visitation.  In some cases, with the guidance of skilled child custody lawyers, families

With the assistance of Haas Tharrington, P.A. child custody lawyers in North Carolina, parties can resolve issues with a legal parenting agreement.  This agreement is usually part of a larger separation agreement that covers other issues as well—such as child support and the division of marital property.  A separation agreement can be much more detailed than a court order, and more tailored to—as well as sensitive to—the particular needs of the family.

Determining custody

When parents are able to reach agreement about co-parenting, joint custody becomes an option—one that gives both parents a major role in the life of the child.  With joint physical and legal custody, the child usually resides with each parent for a significant amount of time during the year.  With this type of custody, both parents are informed about—and make decisions about—the education, health, and welfare of the child.

Types of custody

Besides joint physical and legal custody, there are certain other options:

  • Sole physical and legal custody. The parent with whom the child lives makes all decisions, including those related to health, education, and residency.  The other parent may still have visitation rights, but does not have significant input regarding major decisions related to the child.
  • Primary physical and joint legal custody. The child resides with one parent the majority of the time, and the other parent may have visitation rights.  Both parents are informed and make decisions about the education, health, and welfare of the child.
  • Joint physical and joint legal custody: The child resides with both parents for significant periods. Both parents are informed and make decisions about the education, health, and welfare of the child.

Contact us at 919-783-9669 today to discover how our experienced child custody attorneys can help.

When possible, it is best to at least attempt to reach agreement on child custody without going to court.  Another option for resolving custody issues is mediation.  For a holistic, cooperative approach to mediating all outstanding issues, including child custody, see our Green Divorce page.

It is not always possible or even advisable to avoid taking custody decisions to court, where a judge decides your case.  In families where substance abuse, alcoholism, spousal abuse or child abuse is occurring, it may be best for the court to intervene.  Such behaviors raise serious safety issues and should be disclosed to your attorney immediately.

For information on how to talk to your children about separation and divorce, see our Talking to the Children and What Kids Need to Know pages.

Custody in LGBT and Non-traditional Families

Although Second Parent Adoptions were struck down by the North Carolina Supreme Court in the Boseman case in 2010, child custody rights for non-biological/legal same sex parents were actually strengthened by the opinion in Boseman, as well as other recent cases. It is important for LGBT couples who are parents or looking to become parents to understand their rights and obligations regarding their children both during the relationship, and in the event that the relationship (between the parents) were to end. Please see our LGBT Family Law page for more information specific to LGBT families.