Are you concerned about what will happen to your children in the event of a divorce? Are you in the midst of a contentious custody battle? Parents usually differ when it comes to determining what is best for their child in a divorce.
Who will get custody? This is not about proving one parent unfit. In most cases, both parents are fit to take care of the children. In North Carolina, the court will determine what is in the best interests of the children in determining the custodial rights of each parent.
The attorneys at Robison Smith Law will help keep you focused, provide you with realistic expectations, and will ensure that you don’t lose sight of what is really important – your children and their future.
Is the other parent withholding your child from you? Has it been months since your separation, and you still haven’t gotten to see your children? As a parent, you have a constitutional right to parent your child – including having custodial time, or visitation. If the other parent has been alienating the children from you, then there is no time to waste. Call Robison Smith Law today to find out how to restore your custody and visitation rights.
As a grandparent or stepparent, you may also have custodial rights to minor children. As a third party attempting to get custody of minor children, you must first show that the biological parent(s) are unfit to parent the minor children. Then, you must prove to a judge why it is in the minor children’s best interests for you to be awarded custody. There is a high burden of proof in grandparent custody and stepparent cases, and you want the family law team at Robison Smith Law on your side. These types of cases often involve emergency custody matters as well, especially if either one or both parents are unfit to continue to have custody of the minor children due to substance abuse issues or domestic violence issues.
As a Grandparent, you also have the option to seek visitation rights. If the parents are actively involved in custody litigation, then you may file a motion to intervene and ask for visitation rights, especially if one or both parents have been refusing to let you see the minor children. This situation can arise when one parent has substance abuse issues and the other parent is withholding visitation from both the parent and grandparent.
There are some unfortunate cases where a parent has not been involved in a child’s life for years. If this is the case for you, and you want to move on with your life and allow your child to move on with his or her life, call Robison Smith Law to assist you in filing a Termination of Parental Rights.
If you wish to simultaneously adopt the minor child at the same time that you are terminating the parental rights of one, or both, parents, then our experienced legal team can guide you through this process. For years, we have assisted clients in filing Adoptions and Termination of Parental Rights cases, typically for Grandparents, Aunts or Uncles, or Stepparents.
If you are a dad and you were not placed on your child’s birth certificate, then you may not have any rights to your child without filing some sort of legal action. Many people interchangeably use the terms “paternity,” or “legitimation,” but they are different issues and involve different proceedings.
To obtain custodial rights over a child, or prior to you being ordered to pay child support, the court must establish paternity of the minor child. This can be confirmed by way of an affidavit or a paternity test. Once paternity has been established by court order, then you may be awarded custody or visitation, and you may be ordered to pay child support for the benefit of your minor child.
In North Carolina, if you have a child born out of wedlock, then you should file a Legitimation action to have the minor child legitimized. This process will enable your child to inherit from you absent a will and can assist you in establishing paternity over your child (but a legitimation does not effectively establish paternity and a separate action must be filed to establish paternity).
Emergency Custody, what is that? When a parent, grandparent, stepparent, aunt, or uncle files a motion for emergency custody of a child, it is a serious task. In North Carolina, a person must show that a minor child is at substantial risk of emotional or bodily injury at the hands of the other parent, or that the child is being removed from the state for purposes of evading the jurisdiction of North Carolina. Typically, the cases involving emergency custody have one of the following elements: a situation involving alcohol or drug-related issues, a situation where domestic violence is involved, or a situation where child abuse is involved. Occasionally, one parent may try to leave the State of North Carolina with the minor children prior to the filing of a custody action. You need to contact Robison Smith Law right away if you have an emergency custody issue.
What if there is a need to modify custody later in the child’s life? If there has been a substantial change of circumstances since the custody order was entered, the original custody order may be modified to better suit the current circumstances. A substantial change of circumstances could mean a lot of different things. Perhaps your child was only one year old when the first order was entered, and now your child is fourteen. A lot has changed in thirteen years, and you may be entitled to more custodial time with your child. Perhaps the other parent has gone downhill and fallen into a bad drug habit. You can file a motion to modify custody and the court can change the order to state that you now have primary custody of your children.
For any of your child custody needs, you can trust the experienced family law team at Robison Smith Law. Call or text Robison Smith Law today at (704) 741-0220, email us, or set up your consultation online.
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