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Child Custody and Visitation

Child Custody is often the most difficult and painful issues surrounding a marital separation. It is very important that you consult with an attorney, to learn your options and develop a plan that will promote the best interest of your children and protect your rights as a parent. If you and your spouse are unable to reach an agreement on custody issues, you may file an action in court for custody or visitation rights. If you decide to file a custody lawsuit in court, Wake County Family Court Rules require that all parties participate in a mediation process, in the hopes that the parties may be able to resolve their issues with the help of a neutral mediator. We will aggressively work to protect your parental rights and promote the best interests of your children.

How often will I see my child?

Child Custody includes both legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody gives the parent the right to make important decisions to promote the welfare of the child, including medical decisions, educational, and religious decisions. Physical custody addresses where the child will reside, and with which parent. Both parents may share joint legal and physical custody. In the alternative, sole legal or physical custody may be given to only one parent.

Can I move to another state with my child?

Assuming there is no custody agreement in place, whether one parent can take the children and move out of state depends on the circumstances. In some situations, a relocation may be in the child’s best interest, and will be allowed. However, uprooting the children and moving to another state may be harmful to your case, and it is very important that you consult with an experienced family law attorney to discuss a possible move.

Can my child decide which parent to live with?

North Carolina law does not provide a specific age upon which a child may decide which parent to live with. In making a child custody determination, the judge may consider the child’s wishes, but only if it is determined that the child is of reasonable age and maturity. Also, in the majority of situations, the judge will speak to the child without either parent being present. This is done to avoid placing unnecessary pressure on the child.