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Types of Child Custody in Raleigh, NC

Determining the Best Interests of the Child

When a couple has made the decision to permanently end their marriage, they will be faced with several important decisions, including:

Although this process is usually never easy, it can become particularly contentious when one or both parties are unwilling to negotiate on the matter of child custody. No parent wants to forfeit time with their child, so it may be necessary to resolve this issue in court. In doing so, the couple must trust in a judge to decide upon the best interests of their child.

Under the law, the court must take certain factors into consideration, including:

  • The relationship between the child and their parents
  • The parents' capacity to provide a healthy home environment
  • The physical and emotional needs of the child
  • The physical and mental health of the parents
  • The presence of domestic violence and/or substance abuse
  • The expressed wishes of the child and/or the parents

Physical vs. Legal Custody in North Carolina

In the state of North Carolina, both legal and physical custody can be awarded by the court. Physical custody refers to where the child will live, while legal custody refers to the parents' ability to make decisions on behalf of their child—which may include where they will go to school, how they will be disciplined, and more.

When it comes to making day-to-day parenting choices, however, this responsibility will fall on the parent who maintains physical custody at that time. If the court has awarded joint legal custody, for example, daily direction would be given to the child by each parent accordingly. Only "long-term decisions" would fall on the shoulders of the parent or parents with legal custody, which would typically be both if they share physical custody.

The Difference Between Joint & Sole Custody

In addition to physical and legal custody, the court must also grant joint or sole custody. Typically, this refers to the idea of whether or not physical custody of the child will be shared between both parents.

For this reason, it is likely that the court will either grant joint legal and physical custody to both parents or sole legal and physical custody to only one. It is important to understand, however, that a joint arrangement does not necessarily imply that each parent's allotted time with the child will be even. In fact, it is not uncommon for the split to be as disparate as 70-30. For this reason, it may be a good idea to have a divorce attorney overseeing your case.

Ready to Talk? Our Raleigh Child Custody Lawyer is Here to Listen.

If you are currently involved in a contentious child custody battle, you should not hesitate to retain the qualified assistance of Hopper Law Office. Our Raleigh family lawyers have been representing the residents of North Carolina with all of their family law matters for quite some time, so we truly understand what it takes to successfully manage a difficult case.

All you have to do to get started is pick up the phone and give us a call at (919) 876-3300.

Contact Hopper Law Office

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