Greensboro NC Child Custody Law
A special subset of Family Law cases involves the Custody of children, and how to obtain these rights. It is often referred to as Custody, rather than Family Law, although the two are interrelated. Custody is the part of Family Law that requires the greatest amount of trial or litigation skill on the part of a lawyer. For that reason, it is the area of Family Law Krispen Culbertson practices most frequently and with the greatest success.
Custody cases, because of the important rights and the high emotions involving the custody of minor children, often wind up in trial. While there is usually a mediation option, often the parties, each of whom is seeking custody, can’t agree. The case then proceeds into family court before a judge for a full trial on the merits. In all cases, the courts make their decisions based on “the best interests of the child”.
There are many difficult aspects to child custody and law, as stated earlier; due to the contention and emotion that can be involved. However, if all parties can be agreeable to it, mediation can be a less costly and less stressful solution; in some cases.
Types of Child Custody
This is where one parent has ‘total’ custody of the child. This means they have legal and physical custody of the child. This usually also means that parent is allowed to make all the legal decisions for the child.
This is the parent with whom the child or children legally live with.
The parent with legal custody is the one who makes the legal decisions for, or that affect; the child.
This is where both parents share in the custody of the child or children. This designation also can be broken down into the designations above, as in “Joint Legal Custody” or “Joint Physical Custody”. If they sound like the parents share in the custody of the child (whether legal, physical, or both) that is exactly what that means.
If one parent has sole physical custody of a child, the other parent would ‘normally’ be allowed a visitation schedule to be able to also see and spend time with their child. Normally, meaning as long as there are no reasons for the court to determines the non-custodial parent is somehow a threat or danger to the child. Usually, if that is not the case; the two parents need to work out a reasonable visitation schedule for all concerned. If that can’t be done co-cooperatively, the courts will help set a fair visitation schedule. If one or the other parent should violate the terms of the visitation agreement; they can be taken back to court to explain why, and could face contempt of court order charges. This is why it’s critical to suspend your emotions when a custody situation arises, and speak to competent counsel so your legal rights and those of your child are protected at the outset.
How Custody is Decided
The courts, and judges; look at a number of things to make the determination as to who should have custody, both legal and physical. As always, the courts use the the “best interests of the child” doctrine to come to any determinations. Here is a list of the most important factors in making these decisions.
1-The child’s safety
2-The child’s current living arrangements.
3-The child’s relationship with each parent.
4-Any history of domestic abuse in the home.
5-Each parent’s ability to provide proper care for the child
6-The child’s own wishes can also be taken into consideration.
Another factor to consider in North Carolina family courts, are grandparents visitation rights. Grandparents are also allowed to go to family court and seek visitation with their grandchildren just like a parent can for parental visitation.
Successful Child Custody Legal Tactics
It’s an unfortunate fact but many marriages end in divorce, and a vast majority involve the custody or one child or more. If you know or think that your marriage is not working out and doomed to break apart; it’s wise to seek information and legal advice as early as possible. The more you know and are prepared for the difficulties of the child custody proceedings, the easier it will be to navigate the process.
Family Law Attorney vs. Child Custody Attorney w/Trial Experience
The difference between a “Family Lawyer” and a “Custody Lawyer” is that the Custody Lawyer will be most successful if he has litigation skills he has honed in other areas of trial work: like jury trials and federal and state civil trials. A well rounded trial lawyer will almost always provide greater custody trial skill than a lawyer that practices strictly in the Family Law area. As can be seen, Krispen Culbertson and Culbertson & Associates have over 20 years of extreme trial lawyering experience — in both Federal and State Courts — and in both civil and criminal courts. It makes for an effective kind of custody lawyer: a trial lawyer that doesn’t mind coming into custody court for trials on behalf of his clients.
This is especially true in the growing and very difficult area of law known as International Child Custody and Abduction Law. Attorney Krispen Culbertson has extensive experience in this type of law, and attended Oxford University in England studying international law.
For expert legal representation in your child custody case, in Greensboro or the surrounding area, call Culbertson & Associates today.