Wake Forest Child Custody Attorney
According to Legal Jobs, in about half of all child custody cases, both parents agree that the mother will be the custodial parent. The remaining cases are usually settled by a judge. Divorce is tough—on spouses and children. Having a Wake Forest child custody attorney from Tolin & Tolin, PLLC to guide you through the process is imperative and can make the process go much smoother.
If you are going through a divorce with children, you know they are an important piece of this process, and you will often value their needs above your own. At Tolin & Tolin, PLLC, we work with parents to remember that while you may be upset with your spouse over your relationship, he or she is—and will always be—your child’s other parent. When parents agree on a solution that allows both parents to spend regular, ongoing time with the child, this is almost always best for the child. If no solution can be agreed upon, a judge will make the decision regarding child custody.
The earlier we are involved in your case, the more able we are to affect the outcome. We have a deep belief in you, the well-being of your children, and your wishes regarding custody. We will protect your parental rights to the extent allowed under North Carolina law while taking your wishes for custody into consideration and ensuring the judge knows what is in the best interests of your child. Our legal team will present evidence that shows where it is best for your children to spend their time, to live, and to divide their time between parents. A Wake Forest child custody attorney from Tolin & Tolin, PLLC is responsive, attentive, approachable, and compassionate.
Our legal team will ensure you receive highly personalized attention while following our goals of helping those in need to seek justice. Attorney Jay Tolin is extremely well-respected, understanding there are sometimes no real “winners” in family law issues. His goal—and the goal of the entire legal team at Tolin & Tolin, PLLC is to help get your life and the lives of your children back on track, allowing you to move forward in the best way possible. Understanding this can be a traumatic time in your life, we will answer all your questions, helping you make necessary changes that allow you to plan for the future.
How is Child Custody Determined in North Carolina?
If you and your spouse are unable to agree on a child custody arrangement, your attorney must notify the court. In the state of North Carolina, both co-parents are required to participate in mediation to attempt to reach an agreement before a trial is set.
Secondary custody essentially refers to what other states call visitation. Generally speaking, the state of North Carolina assumes parents have the right to custody of their child over relatives or third parties and do not favor one parent over the other. While in the past, North Carolina child custody laws enforced the “tender years doctrine” which favored mothers as those given primary custody, over fathers but this is no longer the case.
What is a Parenting Plan Agreement?
A well-thought-out Parenting Plan is essential to easy transitions between parents. A Parenting Plan details how time is shared between parents, how the day-to-day decisions for the children will be made, setting forth who has access to medical and school records, who makes medical decisions, and who determines religious upbringing for the child. Parents can submit a joint plan, or they may submit separate plans, with the court having the final say.
Without a valid reason for limiting telephone or email communications with the non-custodial parent, it is expected that both parents will facilitate opportunities for the children to speak to the other parent. There should be equal access to educational and medical records, and both parents should be allowed to attend school and extracurricular activities. Barring a determination of being an unfit parent, the relationship with both parents should be encouraged.
Grandparents can seek visitation rights at the same time the parents do, however, there is no guarantee they will be awarded specific visitation rights. Each case has unique circumstances that the judge will take into consideration when making decisions in the best interests of the child or children.
Your Parenting Plan will clearly detail how drop-offs and pickups are to be handled, which holidays the children will spend with each parent, and how communication will take place between the children and parents. The Parenting Plan is meant to have contingency plans for when one parent is unable to have their regular time with the children, or unable to pick up or drop off as planned.
Can Child Custody Be Modified After the Judge Makes a Decision?
The first consideration in a child custody modification is whether the original custody plan is a court order or a part of a separation agreement. If your custody decision is a part of a separation agreement, you can make a request in writing for a modification. The other parent may or may not agree to the modification; if the parent disagrees, the issue becomes a matter for the court. If a custody order determined child custody, the parent seeking the modification must file a motion with the court. The court will only consider a modification of custody terms when the parent requesting the modification can clearly show “substantial and material changes in circumstances.”
As always, the court will consider whether the modification is in the best interests of the child. If the custodial parent wants to relocate to another state, the court will consider whether the move is really in the best interests of the child, including whether the child will still have regular contact with the non-custodial parent. If the reason for the modification is that the custodial parent has taken a job with longer hours, or one that requires travel, the court might consider switching primary custody to the other parent—again, only if the judge believes such a change would be in the best interests of the child.
How a Wake Forest Child Custody Attorney from Tolin & Tolin, PLLC Can Help
The Wake Forest child custody attorneys at Tolin & Tolin, PLLC have a solid understanding of the many nuances associated with child custody. We have empathy for your situation while fighting for the best outcome for you and your child. It is important to remember when choosing a family law firm that bigger does not necessarily mean better, older does not necessarily mean wiser or more experienced, and louder does not necessarily mean more easily heard or understood. We hope you will give Tolin & Tolin, PLLC a call to discuss your child custody or other family law issues. Client Focused. Dedicated Representation.