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Child Custody

Child Custody Lawyers in Wake County

Helping Raleigh Clients Create Child Custody Arrangements 

When a couple separates, decisions must be made regarding the care and welfare of the couple’s children. In North Carolina, child custody is settled either through a separation agreement or by a court order and with help of an experienced child custody lawyer. If the parties voluntarily execute a separation agreement, they determine the outcome regarding the ultimate custody and visitation arrangement. This allows the parties to retain control over the custody and visitation decisions and avoid having a judge dictate the result. A separation agreement may address all aspects of custody and visitation, such as which parent has primary physical custody, whether the parties have joint or sole legal custody, the visitation schedule, and custody or visitation during holidays.

What Is Legal Custody?

Joint legal custody refers to an arrangement in which both parents collaborate in making decisions regarding a child’s welfare, such as the child’s medical care and education. “Sole legal custody” means that one parent has the authority to make such decisions regarding the child’s welfare. A court may grant legal custody to one or both parents.

What Is Physical Custody?

Physical custody refers to the spouse with whom the child resides. A court may order physical custody primarily with one parent or with both parents. Often, a court will order one parent to have primary physical custody and the other parent to have secondary physical custody or visitation.

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WHAT IF MEDIATION DOESN'T WORK?

If the parties are unable to resolve custody and visitation through a separation agreement, then those matters will be decided in court by a judge. Courts in North Carolina determine custody based on what is in the “best interests of the child.” When a custody action is filed, the parties are required to participate in a state-sponsored mediation unless certain exceptions apply. 

If the parties are unable to resolve custody and visitation at mediation, the case goes to trial. There are many factors that a judge will consider in determining what custody and visitation arrangement is in “the best interests of the child”. 

Such factors include:

  • Who has been the child’s primary caregiver
  • Each parent’s role in caretaking
  • The age of the child
  • Each parent’s work schedule
  • The bonds the child has with each parent
  • The presence of siblings
  • Misconduct by either parent (such as abuse, neglect, or domestic violence)

For legal advice and guidance concerning your unique circumstances, call us at (919) 838-7160 or complete our online form

Get Started With our Experienced Team
  • Relentless & Aggressive

    Daphne is relentless, in negotiations and trials, and while attempting to settle as much as possible, aggressive representation is sometimes necessary.

  • High Level of Skills

    Daphne spent years working on federal and state appeals, giving her opportunities to develop strong legal writing skills, litigation skills, and negotiation skills. 

  • Personal & Dedicated
    Daphne approaches each client with the personalized attention and care she would want her sibling to receive if going through a divorce; it's personal to her.
  • Decades of Experience
    Daphne has over two decades of experience in state and federal courts and has been negotiating and litigating divorce and family law cases for years.
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