Whether you are taking care of biological or non-biological children, adopting, sharing custody or contemplating any of the above, you want stability for them. Your family is your greatest and most precious asset. What are you doing to protect it?
Are you sharing parenting responsibilities with a former mate? Do you have a parenting agreement? Have you established paternity?
CMWL works to educate parents on their rights and empower them in navigating the legal system in North Carolina. CMWL has represented clients in contentious matters involving:
- Third party custody
- Interstate custody
- Custody involving domestic violence
- Custody involving parental alienation
- Contempt hearings
- Emergency orders
- Modification of existing orders
Many former couples find themselves at odds when it comes to the best way to rear and care for their children. When the parties cannot agree, litigation may become necessary. It is extremely important that you consult with an experienced attorney prior to availing yourself to the court system and the litigation process.
Do you know what "the best interest of the child" means? It is a term most often used in custody matters in family court. Cases in family court are viewed and adjudicated based on the unique facts and circumstances of that particular case and the parties involved. When a judge decides the living arrangements most befitting the healthy development of a former couple's child(ren), it is done per N.C. Gen. Stat §50A.
"The best interest of the child" means relationship and parenting decisions are made in a child-centered way; placing the child's needs above the desires, needs, and conveniences of the two people responsible for guiding him/her through life and into adulthood. The best interest of the child is the platform for healthy co-parenting according to North Carolina law. Yet, no statute clearly defines what factors determine "the best interest of the child."
Judges in North Carolina courts often consider many factors in determining the custody arrangements for a child, including but not limited to:
- The quality and depth of the relationship the child has with each parent
- The age of the child(ren)
- Each parent's ability to provide for the day-to-day needs of the child
- The proximity of the parents' homes to each other
- The child's school schedule
- The parents' work schedules
- The ability of the parents to communicate and share information cordially and effectively
- How the schedule will impact the child(ren) emotionally and psychologically
CMWL encourages clients to make their own decisions regarding the best interests of their children through alternative methods to court, including creating parenting agreements.
A really good parenting agreement starts with the following elements as its central focus:
- The child's best interest.
- The child's health, well-being, development, and spiritual, financial and psychological support.
- The child's beneficial relationship with both parents and their respective families.
- The parents' effective communication.
- The time the child spends with each parent in a routine schedule, as close to normal as possible.
- The harmony of a disjointed family.