If you have a child custody matter in Wake County, North Carolina, Attorney Jaime Williams can represent you during the process.
Child custody is often the most emotionally charged issue in divorce. For this reason, child custody claims can also become the most hard-fought and expensive litigation that can result from a divorce. The best option is to try to resolve issues of custody and visitation through a separation agreement.
However, if the parties cannot agree, either party may file a claim for child custody in District Court. If a custody claim goes to court, parents should be prepared for the judge to carefully examine each parent’s past conduct and care-taking role with the child.
Judges consider many factors in determining a custody arrangement including the age of the child, the time each parent has available to spend with the child, the stability of the parents, efforts by either parent to undermine the other parent, abductions, moves out of state, facilitation of visitation and involvement of the other parent, child abuse and neglect, drug and alcohol problems, religion, non-marital sexual relationships and the preferences of the children. In almost all cases, the non-custodial parent will be awarded visitation with the child.
An order awarding child custody may be modified or vacated at any time upon one party’s motion and a showing of changed circumstances by the interested party. “Changed circumstances” are changes affecting the child’s welfare both positively and adversely. The changes must be substantial for the prior order to be modified.
It is a common mistaken belief that child support payments are linked to visitation privileges. This is not the case. It is important to remember that they are separate issues, legally independent of the other in terms of either unilaterally withholding support or suspending visitation. One party may not interfere with a non-paying party’s visitation rights, nor may a paying party withhold payments on account of withholding visitation.
Contact Our Attorneys
Jaime Williams focuses her practice on family law in Wake County — divorce, child custody and support, alimony, post-separation support, separation, pre-nuptial agreements, name changes, and appeals.
You are welcome to contact us regarding your family law issue.
To schedule a consultation to discuss a family law issue, please telephone us at (919) 789-4677 or complete the contact form below.