Finding the Best Solution for Your Kids
Child custody is often the issue of paramount importance to our clients. “Legal custody” refers to a parent’s right to make major decisions for their child. “Physical custody” refers to a parent’s right to have their child physically with them. When a family breaks up, decisions need to be made regarding your child’s day-to-day physical custody schedule and legal custodian.
Parents are encouraged to resolve legal and physical custody in the manner they jointly believe is in their child’s best interest. Prior to any custody trial, participation in a state-sponsored mediation program is mandatory to give parents an opportunity to determine if an agreement resolving legal and physical custody is possible. When parents cannot agree, the court will conduct a trial to decide the day-to-day physical custody schedule the judge believes is in the child’s best interests. Legal custody is generally granted to both parents, although there are exceptions.
Custody trials are emotionally taxing and expensive. We therefore encourage our clients to successfully mediate the issues of legal and physical custody whenever possible. If a trial is unavoidable, many factors will be considered by the court in determining the custody order that will promote the best interests of the child. These factors may include any substance abuse issues, the parents' work schedules, which parent has been the primary caregiver in the past, and what arrangement will best provide for the child's continued stability.
The first custody order is very important. To obtain a change to the first custody order, and any subsequent order, a parent must show there has been a substantial change of circumstances since the prior custody order was entered, and that the change affects the welfare of the child. The court can only consider modifying the custody order after the threshold showing of substantially changed circumstances is made.
We'll Help You Find a Solution
At Clemmons Family Law, we understand the paramount importance of your child’s custody and will advocate for the custody order you believe is best for your child. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and discuss custody. Call us by phone at 336-766-2222 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.