Newton Child Custody Lawyer

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Newton, NC, Child Custody Attorney

Child custody disputes can be one of the most challenging aspects to deal with when divorcing in Newton, NC. This is because minors rely heavily on their parents for their emotional and physical needs, and are too young to make any large decisions without their input. Making sure the child is taken care of without any significant disruptions to their life should be a top priority for couples who may be divorcing and need to settle on a child custody arrangement. With the help of the right legal team, you will be in a better position to reach a resolution that protects your rights and your children from unnecessary strife.

Newton Child Custody Lawyer

Understanding Child Custody in Newtown

There are two main components of child custody to understand — legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody is when an individual has the right to make decisions on behalf of the child, such as where they go to school, what healthcare they receive, and how they are brought up. When people mention physical custody, that is only referring to the arrangement of when and where a child lives.

Both forms of custody can be shared by both parents. For example, both parents can have physical custody where they will split how much time the child is spent at their home each month. Other areas of family law, such as child support, can influence how much financial support is provided for physical custody arrangements.

Factors to Consider in Child Custody Cases

Before an official ruling is made in a child custody case, the court will examine every angle of the family unit to make sure the child’s interests are met. Some factors assessed include:

  • The stability of the home. Living situations greatly influence the final outcome of a child custody case. If one parent does not have a permanent home or is expected to be moving far away within a short period of time, it could hurt that parent’s chance of being awarded a larger amount of the custody agreement. The more nurturing a home environment is, the better.
  • Emotional and physical needs. Every child’s mental and physical health varies. Some suffer from mental health conditions while others have developed stronger coping skills and can fare better than others. A court will not want to worsen any mental or physical condition a child has, making this a top consideration when deciding on a custody arrangement.
  • The parents’ cooperation and communication skills. A strong co-parenting relationship can make or break the success of a new custody arrangement after two parents split. The court will look for proof that the parents are cooperating with one another and have an invested interest in their children. If one parent seems less likely to communicate or cooperate, it can impact the final outcome of the case.
  • The children’s family relationships. If the child is really struggling to have a healthy relationship with one of the parents, that is a concern that needs to be addressed through a custody arrangement. A court will look into the child’s relationship with every family member to make sure that the child has limited access to anyone who causes any negativity to their well-being. If there is any history of domestic violence, removing any children from that threat will be a top priority.

The Role of Child Custody Attorneys

When you hire a child custody attorney, there is a ton of value you will discover as you progress through the legal system. Some key functions of these positions include:

  • Assessing the case. It all starts with the facts. Family law attorneys can take a deep dive into each detail of the case to maximize your chance at a favorable outcome.
  • Negotiation and mediation. Attorneys are highly skilled communicators. They are able to facilitate productive discussions that lead everyone to an agreement. In instances where agreement is not obvious at first, they are skilled enough to present different compromises that will help both parties meet in the middle.
  • Legal document compliance. The amount of paperwork required to finalize a child custody case is overwhelming. However, this is not the case for experienced attorneys who have already closed many similar custody cases before yours. They know all the documents required and will make sure everything is submitted on time to avoid any unnecessary delays.
  • Court representation. If you and your parting spouse are not able to agree in mediation, the case will have to move to court. An attorney can spend time presenting the facts on your behalf and making recommendations that align with what you wish for your future family unit. They can also be prepared for any rebuttals from the other attorney or judge to make sure your case does not appear weak.

What Evidence Is Used in Child Custody Cases?

It’s hard for the court to make any final decisions without compelling evidence. They will need tangible evidence of the claims each party is trying to make to prove their proposed custody arrangement will suit the child. Some common forms of evidence include:

  • Documentation. Any physical documentation to demonstrate your involvement in the child’s life will go a long way in proving your fitness for custody. This can include medical records where you helped to make a decision on behalf of the child, to report cards to demonstrate that they are successful in school with your support.
  • Parenting plan. The court appreciates when parents are proactive and well-organized in how they want a future custody arrangement to look. If they are presented with a detailed plan that shows when and where the child will spend their time each month, it is apparent both parents have a healthy interest in the custody arrangement.
  • Witness testimony. It’s helpful when people who have less bias to the outcome of the arrangement can also speak positively to the parent-child relationship. This could be teachers who have witnessed interactions at school or even extended members of the family.
  • Communication records. It’s one thing to say that you are a cooperative parent, but it’s an even stronger stance when there are communication records to back up what you say. This could be text messages that show how you were able to accommodate a child’s schedule change or a time when you offered emotional support when you weren’t together in person.

Child Custody Lawyers FAQs

Q: Do I Need a Lawyer for Child Custody?

A: Because the fate of your child’s custody is up for discussion, it is highly advised that you seek the help of a lawyer for your case. The average citizen does not have legal experience with complex trials. Being able to enlist the help of a skilled attorney is a major help in ensuring that every step necessary is taken to prove your fitness as a parent deserving of a favorable custody arrangement.

Q: Who Pays for the Attorney Fees in a Child Custody Case?

A: The cost of an attorney traditionally will fall on the person who hired the legal assistance. However, there are some scenarios where you can find relief from those fees. For example, if it is established that one of the divorcing spouses makes significantly more money than the other, covering the attorney fees for the lower-income individual is not unheard of. There are also instances where one party may have acted in bad faith to manipulate the outcome of the case. Part of their punishment could be to cover both sets of attorney fees in the case.

Q: How Much Does Filing for Child Custody Cost?

A: There is a general filing fee of around $150 to initiate custody action. This is only the starting point to other legal fees that will be added depending on the circumstances of your case. For example, it costs extra money to obtain certain documentation, such as medical records or background checks if you need those to help support your case. If you need to be a part of any mediation sessions to help advance your case, that also will be a line item to add to your total costs. The easiest way to fully anticipate how much the child custody process will cost you is to speak with a family lawyer early in the process.

Q: How Do I Start the Custody Process in NC?

A: To officially start the custody process, you will need to file your complaint for child custody. This document should be as comprehensive as possible, detailing any concerns you may have for the other person wanting custody and what your desired arrangement would be after divorce. Once the complaint has been received, the other party will be served a copy of the paperwork and will have time to respond. Depending on the state of your relationship, it may be recommended both parties meet with a mediator to try to resolve the disputes amicably. If not, then the case can advance to court for a final resolution.

Contact Law Office of Lyndon R. Helton, PLLC Today

If you are ready to advance your child custody case, contact Law Office of Lyndon R. Helton, PLLC as soon as you can. We have a long history of working with loving parents who want to help keep a happy and healthy life for their children through custody arrangements in Newton. We look forward to learning more about you and your family to begin tailoring our legal strategy for your interests today.

Our Location

Law Office Of Lyndon R. Helton, PLLC
827 Highland Avenue Northeast Hickory, NC 28601


Toll Free:888-321-0494

Mailing Address:PO Box 909 Hickory, NC 28603