Child custody and visitation can quickly become one of the most contested issues during divorce litigation.
In the State of North Carolina, the law provides that custody determinations are to be decided by looking at what is in the best interests of the child/children. There is no presumption by the court that a mother or a father will better promote the best interest of the child.
Lawsuits are often filed because spouses or parties with a child in common cannot come to an agreement on child custody issues and/or one parent is seeking child custody or visitation rights. In North Carolina, once a lawsuit is filed both parties will be required to attend a mandatory child custody mediation session or session. Parents will first be required to attend an orientation session. After orientation, you and the other parent will meet with a court mediator. The mediator is a neutral, non lawyer that will work with both parties in an attempt to resolve issues and reach a parenting agreement. If a successful agreement can be reached, the mediator will draft a legal agreement that becomes an order of court once it is signed by the parents and the judge. Call Vavonese Law Firm, PC to have a skilled custody attorney review and possibly make changes to your agreement before you sign and it becomes a court order.
In the event you do not reach an agreement at mediation, the litigation process will move forward with a temporary, and later, a permanent hearing on custody. At these hearings witnesses will be called and evidence will be presented to the Judge to assist him or her in determining what is in the best interests of the child/children. The court takes many factors into consideration when determining where and with whom the minor child/children should reside. Call Jamie Vavonese today to schedule a consultation and discuss the issues and intricacies of your child custody case today.
Parties are not required to file a lawsuit to resolve their custody issues. In any case, parties can agree to a custody agreement that works best for them. Child custody agreements can be a contract between the parties or it can be a formal agreed upon court order.
Court orders are typically more expensive to obtain up front, but easier and less expensive to enforce down the road than a contractual agreement. However, court orders can also be more difficult to modify than a contract for custody. Vavonese Law Firm, PC and Jamie Vavonese can help you decide the best route for your particular custody situation.
During proceedings, the court will determine physical and legal custody between parents. Physical custody means that your child/children primarily live at your residence, while legal custody gives a parent the right to make medical, educational and religious decisions regarding the child/children. It is common for parents to share joint legal custody, however it is not an absolute.
Visitation schedules are determined after taking a variety of factors into consideration. Some families have visitation schedules that are structured to one night a week and every other weekend from Friday evening through Sunday evening, with alternating holidays and 2-4 weeks during summer vacation. Other cases may warrant a schedule where the parents alternate weekly periods with the child/children. Each case is different and a schedule will be determined based on what is in the best interests for the child/children.
Jamie Vavonese is a Child Custody Lawyer in Raleigh, NC that represents both mothers and fathers. We assist our clients with any custody disputes and ensure that the best interests of the child/children are being served. If at all possible, we will seek to help you resolve your case without litigation. However, should litigation be necessary, you can be assured that you have a highly skilled litigation attorney on your side.