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Child Custody

If you or someone you know is going through a divorce in Monroe Union County, one of the most important issues for the couple if they are parents is the well-being of the children during this entire process. The impact of a divorce can be profound for the children. Child custody is often the most emotionally charged and difficult part of the process of separation and divorce. Difficult issues arise regarding the children that become points of contention, such as physical and legal custody of the minors as well as visitation schedules. This is because the soon-to-be ex-spouses must work out these schedules between themselves or have a North Carolina judge work out a schedule for them. Not surprisingly, the manner in which these issues are resolved between the quarreling couple can have a huge impact on the children’s lives. The same is true of child support that must be paid by the non-custodial parent throughout the minor’s childhood.

For all of these reasons, if you are thinking about or facing divorce in Monroe Union County it is vital that you consult with an experienced family law attorney right away. The skilled attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC can advise you as to your rights and obligations under North Carolina law during this difficult time.

Types of Custody

Child custody is the legal term that is used to describe the practical and legal relationship between a parent and a child in that person’s care. As a general matter, child custody can be placed into two separate kinds: physical custody and legal custody.

Physical custody refers to the decision regarding where the child will live and reside. Under Monroe Union County family law, physical custody can be sole (i.e., only one parent) or joint (i.e., shared by both parents). Sole custody results in only one parent having exclusive physical custody of the child or children. Joint custody, on the contrary, can involve a number of different living arrangements depending on the former spouses’ agreement or the judge’s determination.

Legal custody, on the other hand, refers to the right of the parents to make important decisions about the child’s upbringing on behalf of the child. Some examples of important decisions include those involving a child’s education, health, and extracurricular activities, to name a few.

In Monroe Union County, and the rest of North Carolina, there is not a presumption as to which parent is better suited to have custody of a child or children. On the contrary, a family law judge will try to decipher the arrangement that is in the best interest of the child. A court will consider all factors that may impact the minor child or children’s well-being. As a general rule, North Carolina courts prefer that both parents are involved in the life of the child. In short, there is never an automatic granting of custody or visitation.

Temporary Custody

Unless the child’s safety is at risk or one parent specifically requests a temporary custody hearing, the issue of temporary custody is not generally relevant in Monroe Union County. Rather, the parent who was granted physical custody of the child or children is generally granted temporary custody of the minor(s) until the pending claims are heard by a North Carolina court. Should the parents of the minor(s) be unable to agree on where the child or children will live, a judge may grant a Temporary Parenting Hearing (TPH). A TPH is a short hearing that is conducted in order to determine the temporary custodial situation of the family. While the result of a TPH is important, a North Carolina judge is not required to come to the same result as the TPH in the permanent custody trial.

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Separation and divorce can be a difficult time for the adults who no longer wish to be married. Several issues need to be addressed, including the physical and legal custody of any children that resulted from the union. Unfortunately, separation and divorce can be an equally hard process for any minor children involved. If you or someone you know needs help with a Monroe Union County child custody matter, contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC. Our experienced Monroe Union County family law attorneys can explain your options and help you through this difficult and sensitive time in your family’s life. Click here today to schedule your initial case evaluation.