Navigating the child custody process in North Carolina can be a daunting and overwhelming task, but with the right resources and support, it is possible to reach a resolution that is in the best interests of your children. Here is a guide to help you navigate the child custody process in North Carolina:
Understand the different types of child custody in North Carolina
In North Carolina, there are two types of child custody: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody refers to the right to make decisions about the child’s upbringing, including decisions about education, healthcare, and religion. Physical custody refers to where the child will physically reside. In North Carolina, the court prefers to award joint legal custody, which means that both parents have a say in decision-making for the child. Physical custody can be joint or sole, depending on the circumstances of the case.
Contact a family law attorney
It is highly recommended that you seek the help of a family law attorney when navigating the child custody process in North Carolina. An attorney can provide valuable guidance and representation in court, and can help you understand your rights and options under the law.
Gather information and evidence
In a child custody case, the court will consider the best interests of the child. To help make your case, it can be helpful to gather information and evidence about your relationship with your child, your parenting skills, and any potential issues with the other parent. This can include documentation such as school records, medical records, and any evidence of abuse or neglect.
Hire a child custody investigator
If you have concerns about the other parent’s fitness to have custody, or if there are issues with abuse or neglect, you may want to consider hiring a child custody investigator. A child custody investigator is a professional who is trained to gather information and evidence related to child custody cases. They can conduct surveillance, gather documentation, and provide testimony in court to help support your case.
Attend court hearings and follow court orders
The child custody process in North Carolina typically involves several court hearings, and it is important to attend all hearings and follow any court orders that are issued. This includes following any temporary custody arrangements that are put in place while the case is ongoing.
Navigating the child custody process can be emotionally challenging, and it is important to seek support from friends, family, and professionals during this time. This can include therapy, support groups, or other resources to help you cope with the stress and emotions of the process.
By following these steps and seeking the help of a family law attorney and, if necessary, a child custody investigator, you can navigate the child custody process in North Carolina and work towards a resolution that is in the best interests of your children.