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.
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.
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:
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you are ready to advance your child custody case, contact Helton, Cody & Associates Attorneys 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.