Child Custody & Visitation

Child Custody Decisions Tailored To Your Family's Needs

As difficult as divorce may be for the couple involved, it is often harder on children. The actions you take during this stressful time, and the decisions you make about child custody, visitation and child support will have a long-lasting impact on your children's well-being and their future. At our law firm, we seek to help you make informed decisions that protect both your parental rights as well as your children's best interests.

We also help parents navigate special issues related to child custody and visitation, including:

  • Grandparent visitation
  • Paternity and legitimation for unmarried parents
  • Modification of child custody due to parental relocation or significant life changes

Common Misconceptions About North Carolina Child Custody:

  • "Mothers always get custody." That is no longer the law. Each parent will have to present a strong case in court for why he or she should have primary custody or why he or she and his or her former partner can successfully manage shared custody. We work with child psychologists and therapists to document your case for custody.
  • "Children can decide who they want to live with." This is not true. If the parents have not reached a decision about custody between themselves, a family law judge will decide. The judge may interview children in chambers and may give consideration to a young person's wishes (especially if they are teens), but the judge will ultimately take a more comprehensive view than a child is capable of taking.
  • "Visitation is dependent upon child support." It is not. You cannot withhold visitation from your child's other parent because he or she is behind in child support. If you do, you risk being taken back to court for contempt.

Whatever the result in your custody decision, you will be co-parenting with your former spouse for years to come. Maintaining (or building) a good working relationship now will benefit you in the future. Our child custody lawyers' calm and cooperative approach can help you reach your custody goal with a minimum of conflict.

Emergency Child Custody

Some situations may require immediate action to secure emergency child custody such as cases involving domestic violence or the unauthorized relocation of a child by one parent. An emergency child custody action, if granted, gives the parent who filed it temporary sole custody. Once filed, parents have 10 days to negotiate a temporary parenting agreement that will be enforced while other actions such as parental separation or divorce litigation proceed.

Our firm is highly experienced in managing emergency child custody actions on behalf of parents who file them and those against whom the action is filed. We will protect your rights throughout the process, from the initial filing to the review hearing to any actions taken following it. In addition to assisting parents with emergency child custody in the Charlotte area, we can and frequently represent parents who live outside North Carolina in the protection of their custody rights.