Child Custody

Getting Custodial Rights to Your Children Child Custody

Call a Child Custody attorney at our office; we handle cases in Huntersville, Matthews, Charlotte, Concord, Kannapolis and all surrounding areas.

Custody in North Carolina consists of two types of custody, physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody refers to the physical care and supervision of the child. Legal custody is not defined by statutes but refers to the right and responsibility to make decisions that have long term implications for the child's best interest and welfare. ( i.e. education, religion, discipline and health care decisions)

Physical Custody

There are two types of physical custody, sole physical custody and joint physical custody. Sole physical custody is awarded when one parent has the exclusive care and supervision of the child. Joint physical custody means that the mother and father are each awarded time to have the physical care and supervision of the child. Often times the terms "primary" and "secondary" custody are used when joint physical custody is awarded. Primary custody does not refer to a specific number of days the mother or father will have with the child, it simply refers to who has the child the majority of the calendar year. Secondary custody is awarded to the party that does not have the child the majority of the calendar year.

Legal Custody

When courts award joint legal custody the parties share the right to make major decisions or certain decisions are allocated between the parties. Sole legal custody means one party has been awarded the right to make decisions that have long term implications for the child. In North Carolina to file for custody the filing party must have standing. According to North Carolina General Statute 50-13.1(a) any parent, relative or other person, agency, organization or institution claiming the right to custody of a minor child may institute an action or proceeding for the custody of such child. Despite the broad language of the statute, there are limits on "other persons" and "third party's" who can file an action for custody. Once an action is filed with the court the parties are required to attend mediation. Mediation is a great opportunity for the parties to tell the opposing party what they want and make a genuine effort in resolving their issues. If all issues are settled in mediation the mediator will prepare a parenting agreement which contains all the terms regarding custody. If the parties are represented by attorney's the parties can give the agreement to their attorneys for review. If the parties are not represented by counsel the mediator will give the parenting agreement to judge and the agreement will become a court order and is subject to enforcement and modification. If mediation is not successful in resolving all issues, then the parties proceed with litigation.

Our office has experience handling all types of child custody cases. An attorney at our office in either Concord or Charlotte will sit down with you and be able to discuss your case and what can be done. We focus on our energy on providing aggressive, effective and cost efficient representation. Please call one of our offices today and set up a consultation.