Determined Beaufort Attorneys Work to Resolve Child Custody Disputes
Skilled family lawyers fight for your parental rights and your child’s welfare
To a parent, there is nothing more important than their child’s health and happiness. If divorce or separation is threatening to drive a wedge between you and your child, you need effective legal representation from a knowledgeable child custody attorney. At Carolina Law Group, headed by Tommy Kellis, we provide determined legal counsel to safeguard your parental rights and establish a supportive environment for your son or daughter. If you need help with a divorce or a conflict stemming from an existing custody order in Beaufort or Morehead City, we are ready to pursue an appropriate result.
How child custody works in North Carolina
In North Carolina, there are two types of child custody:
- Legal custody — This is the authority to make decisions affecting a child’s health and welfare, such as where to go to school, when to see a doctor and whether to practice a certain religion.
- Physical custody — This is the right to have the child live with you along with the duty to provide for the child’s needs and act as a primary caregiver. The amount of time a child spends in each home affects the parental child support obligations.
Each type of custody can be held solely by one parent, or awarded on a joint basis to both parents. Potential outcomes include:
- Joint legal and joint physical custody — Each parent provides a residence for the child, who spends significant (though not necessarily equal) time at both homes. Parents share decision-making authority.
- Sole physical and joint legal custody — In situations where it is in the youth’s best interests to spend most of their time living with one parent who acts as primary caregiver, sole physical custody is granted. The noncustodial parent is allowed frequent parenting time, or visitation. However, both parents participate in decision making.
- Sole physical and sole legal custody — In cases where a parent is unable to handle their responsibilities, the other parent may be given full physical custody as well as complete decision-making authority. The noncustodial parent might have restricted or supervised visitation, or the court could prohibit visitation altogether.
Many child custody disputes occur as part of the parents’ divorce proceedings. However, parents who were never married often litigate custody and support matters if legal paternity has been established.
North Carolina family law courts make child custody determinations based on “the best interests of the child.” Our attorneys present all relevant information to the court, making the strongest case possible for a proper resolution.
Modifications of child custody orders in Beaufort, North Carolina
After living with a child custody order for a period of time, you might find that the existing terms no longer reflect your needs or your child’s best interests. It is possible to ask a judge to modify an order based on:
- Violations — If one parent has consistently violated the existing order, a judge can change the order to remedy the situation. Custodial parents who interfere with their ex-partner’s visitation rights might lose sole physical custody as a corrective measure.
- Substantial change of circumstances — A parent who could not exercise the duties of a primary caretaker may have overcome obstacles and has gained the ability to share physical custody. Alternatively, a parent might have made lifestyle choices that threaten the child’s welfare. A common change request involves relocation, where the custodial parent wants to move with their child to a new home that adversely affects their co-parent’s visitation rights. Relocation often requires a rewriting of the parenting time schedule.
Our attorneys help parents request or oppose modifications to their custody orders.
Contact a Beaufort child custody attorney for a consultation
The Carolina Law Group in Beaufort provides effective child custody representation Beaufort, Morehead City and other area locations. Call us at 252-672-2059 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.