Raleigh Child Visitation Lawyer
When parents separate or divorce, child custody and visitation is often one of the most emotionally charged issues on the table. There are several ways in which a decision regarding child visitation rights in NC can be made about where the children will live, and the visitation schedule.
At Charles R. Ullman & Associates, we go beyond the ordinary in client services and credentials. Our founder, Charles R. Ullman, is a Board Certified Family Law Specialist, a rare qualification that is held by only a small percentage of the family law attorneys in the state. As a highly skilled and seasoned trial attorney and litigator, he serves as counsel in a range of difficult child visitation and custody cases. Contact the firm immediately for help in child visitation matters.
Child Visitation Rights
Parental rights are protected under North Carolina custody law. The best interest of the children is the guiding principle of decisions made by the court regarding child custody and visitation. In most cases, the court will grant both parents access to the children. When there is a child custody disagreement, the court will order the parents to mediation.
When a Child Custody Disagreement Goes to Mediation
The objective is to have the parents resolve their issues and come to a mutually agreed-upon custody and visitation agreement and avoid a court hearing. If a child visitation lawsuit is filed, the case will be sent first to the Custody Mediation Program. Any plan for a parent to move away, making it more difficult to arrange visitation, is ordered to mediation as well. Effort is made to schedule it prior to the proposed move.
The parents are strongly encouraged to seek legal representation from a North Carolina child custody lawyer prior to signing any custody/visitation agreement. Once the parents have a signed custody and visitation agreement and a judge has approved it, this agreement becomes an enforceable court order. When possible, coming to an agreement outside of court is considered to be a better option. In some cases, this is not possible, and the case proceeds to a court hearing.
Child Visitation Schedule: Raleigh Child Custody Lawyer for Visitation Cases
There are several ways a child visitation schedule can be arranged. In many cases, the parents working out an agreement outside of court can lead to a more reasonable agreement, rather than having a standard agreement imposed by court order. The residential arrangements for the child must fully address the following issues:
- The specific details about the times the children will be with each parent.
- The holidays and special occasions that the child will be spending with each parent.
- How transportation between the parents’ homes will be resolved, and how children will be exchanged for visitation (time, place, other details when necessary).
- The method by which the parents will communicate regular and urgent information about the children.
- What information must be provided to the other parent.
Your parental rights are important, whether you were married or had a child or children outside of marriage, and neither a father nor mother are to be given preference with regard to custody and visitation. Your children’s future and your ability to have an influence as a parent are important to your children’s health, wellbeing and emotional stability. Establishing paternity may be necessary through DNA testing for a father to gain access to a child born to parents who were unmarried.
Child Visitation Orders: When You Need Legal Help
There are cases in which one parent does not comply with the court-ordered visitation schedule. If one parent is not in compliance with the court order, there can be legal consequences. The law requires each parent to adhere to the terms of the visitation schedule as ordered. If a situation arises in which the children are in danger, a legal action can be filed for emergency custody. You are advised to immediately connect with a lawyer if you feel that your children are in danger.
When child custody or visitation is an issue that cannot be resolved through mediation, it is imperative that you have legal representation from an experienced child custody lawyer. The court will carefully review all of the facts surrounding the case before making any decision.
The issues that will be evaluated include the following:
- Which parent has been the primary caregiver for the child/children in the past.
- The wishes of the child.
- What custody and visitation schedule will cause the least disruption to the child’s life.
- If there is any evidence of domestic violence in the household.
- The standard of living and the neighborhood in which each parent lives.
- Educational needs of the children, with regard to the location of the residence of each parent and access to certain schools or educational facilities.
- The ability of the parent to provide a stable home environment.
- The child care arrangements that each parent can provide if needed.
- Each parent’s hours of availability to the child/children.
- The child’s needs in regard to medical treatment.
Modifications and Enforcements of Visitation
There are cases in which it is necessary to modify a child visitation order. A child may be older and want to spend more time with one of the parents, or change households. It is important that any changes to court-ordered visitation are approved by the court. If you do not comply with the court order, even if the other parent verbally agrees, it can create a serious legal problem for you in the future. Get the court to approve the changes.
Get Help from a Family Law Specialist in Raleigh
When it comes to your children and your right to fair visitation, you simply cannot take any chances. Get help from our Board Certified Family Law Specialist at Charles R. Ullman & Associates in Raleigh. Our goal is to protect your parental rights and your children, to achieve the goals you have with regard to child visitation rights in NC, and to take action for you if you have run into any difficulties with this critical issue.
Contact us today to discuss your case.
- North Carolina Courts: Putting Children First
- North Carolina General Assembly: Action or Proceeding for Custody of a Minor Child
- North Carolina Courts: Best Practices Child Custody and Visitation
Last updated: April 21, 2015