Custody And Visitation

For parents, the most difficult aspects of divorce often center around child custody. In most cases, it's best if spouses can come to an agreement on their own. Otherwise, the North Carolina courts have broad authority to decide matters for them, which can lead to situations that are repellent — even untenable — for everyone involved.

At The Patterson Law Office, PLLC, our team is dedicated to helping parents reach resolution in child custody matters. We understand that, more often than not, it's important for both parents to be involved in a child's life. As such, we strive to devise solutions that benefit all parties. However, when a scenario warrants it — as in cases of abuse, neglect and related concerns — we are skilled in asserting a parent's right to sole custody, and adept at carrying out proceedings to terminate a parent's custodial rights.

The Different Kinds Of Custody

There are, by definition, two different types of custody: Legal custody involves having authority over decisions pertaining to the child's welfare and upbringing. This includes considerations such as schooling, health care and religion. Physical custody, meanwhile, refers to providing a home for the child — where, physically, the child will live.

Legal custody responsibilities are often shared by both parents. The courts, and often spouses themselves, believe it's best if each parent is able to contribute in this regard. Physical custody can also be shared, and many parents find it's easy to do so. When the court system is tasked with deciding, however, it will award physical custody in a manner that best promotes the child's growth. This could consist of a shared or joint custody arrangement, or could have the child living primarily in one home with visitation rights granted to the other parent. Noncustodial parents and parents with joint custody schedules who earn a higher wage are often compelled to make child support payments.

In some cases, the courts will see fit to deny or severely limit a parent's custody and visitation rights. This will typically occur in situations when the parent has a history of violence or substance abuse, or similar concerns.

Helping To Maintain Parent-Child Relationships

We work with parents to devise the best possible custody and visitation arrangements—taking into account the fact that one parent may be better able to provide day-to-day care of the child, while the other is compelled to meet career obligations. Likewise, if a parent changes jobs or moves to a new home, our firm is able to update custody agreements to accommodate new living situations.

To speak with a lawyer, reach out to The Patterson Law Office, PLLC, today. You can call us at 704-240-5294 or schedule an appointment at our Charlotte office online. In custody and child support matters, going it alone can often lead to unwanted outcomes. Working with an attorney, you can be assured of protecting your interests and rights.