Unless a parent is unfit or unsafe, the court usually determines that substantial time with both parents is in the child's best interest. We take each custody case seriously and do our best to help you.
Frequently asked questions:
What geographic areas do you work?
Our office is located in downtown Wilmington, North Carolina. We accept clients from surrounding counties within reasonable driving distance.
How will the court decide custody?
Factors that the court can consider include anything that may improve or impinge on the development of the child's physical, mental, emotional, moral, and spiritual faculties. This is pretty broad. The court will look at each parent's caretaking capacity and past conduct, the home environment of each, the child's bonding with each parent and other siblings (or step-siblings), alcohol use and drug use, and any domestic violence history of either parent. Pretty much any factors that contribute to the welfare of the child are at play and the court has wide latitude in how it considers all factors.
Is there a presumption for or against the mother?
North Carolina does no recognize any presumption for or against either parent. Although the presumption favoring the mother during a child's "tender years" has been abolished by statue, some courts still favor the mother when a child is very young, especially if the mother has been the child's primary caregiver.
Can I recover my attorney's fees in my custody action?
North Carolina statutes allow the trial court to award reasonable attorney's fees to a party that is acting in good faith and has insufficient means to defray the expenses ofa custody suit. This remedy is available whether you win or lose your case, however, the court is not required to make such an award. It is in the discretion of the court.
What about visitation?
Unless a parent is unfit or unsafe, the court usually determines that substanial time with both parents is in the child's best interest. This usuall results in substantial visitation time with the child being awarded to the non-custodial parent. This can take many forms including weeknight and alternating weeked visitation, and summer blocks of visitation. Holidays are also important considerations in determining visitation. Visitation is typically best figured out and agreed to by the parents, if possible. This allows a visitation agreement to fit the schedules of the parents and the child to the highest extent possible. If a parent is not fit to have visitation, the court may order supervised visitation.