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North Carolina Family Law Blog

Fathers can fight for child custody

While courts in North Carolina used to rule in favor of the mother when it came to child custody, attitudes have changes and most judges have realized that all parents should have an equal chance to take care of their children. We at Marshall and Taylor know how important it is for you to have a fair chance at child custody, whether you are a mom or a dad.

 

Homemaker vs. breadwinner: Who wins during property division?

Family functions have changed over the years. In many modern households, both spouses work full time -- an arrangement unheard of not so many years ago. In such a situation, each partner likely contributes fairly equally to the marital assets from a financial point of view. Should the couple divorce, dividing the assets may be reasonably straightforward, though likely not without some conflict.

Perhaps the dynamics of your family are different, however, and there is just one breadwinner in the household. If you have spent most of your marriage working, and your spouse has maintained the family home, you may be uncertain about what is going to happen to your assets now that you're going through a divorce. How will the judge decide who gets what, when only one of you was paying for almost everything? The following information may answer some of your questions.

How can I make the most of my visitation?

When a judge in North Carolina must divide custody of your child between you and your ex-spouse, having contact with both of you will benefit the child more than if your relationships is completely cut off. The psychological drawbacks of ending all communication with either parent can be long-lasting, so maintaining visitation is important to the mental health of your family. While you may feel upset that you do not have as much custody as you would like, the important thing is to build a strong bond with your child during the time you have together. The Supervised Visitation Network outlines how you can make the most of your visitation time.

 

What rights does a putative father have?

One of the biggest changes that the many children being born out of wedlock has brought is that, in matters of divorce or separation, the father’s legal relationship to the child has not always been established. If you find yourself in this position in Virginia and are not sure about your rights, ChildWelfare.gov has created literature that can explain the situation.

 

Knowing the hurdles as grandparents seeking custody

In some situations, a grandparent may not feel as though their own child is capable of rearing their children well. There are cases in which these grandparents then seek to rectify the situation by gaining custody of their grandchild. However, the road to custody is long and steep.

The Law Dictionary states that the way for grandparents to gain custody of their grandchild relies solely on the best interests of the child. In a situation where a custodial parent, or parents, are unable to care for the child properly, custody may be awarded to the grandparents. Examples of improper care include a household that exposes the child to abuse or neglect of any sort. If the parent or parents have any additions either to drugs, alcohol, gambling or so on, that may also be taken into consideration. The opinion of the child may be considered as well, if they are old enough to provide it to the court.

Understanding visitation rights

As you go through the divorce process in North Carolina, one of your primary concerns is likely your children. If you are not granted custody, it is natural to be concerned about how often you will see them. At Marshall and Taylor, PLLC, we understand your children are your top priority and are committed to helping you understand your visitation rights.

While you may like the idea of set rules determining when and where you can see your children, visitation rights are not always so clear cut. According to the North Carolina Bar Association, visitation can often be decided by you and your ex-spouse. If you both cannot agree, however, sometimes a court might get involved. The court usually determines a situation which will be best for your children after conversations with you and your ex-spouse.

3 tips for handling child custody exchanges

As a parent, you undoubtedly want the best for your children and hope to keep them as safe as possible. However, when you have contentious feelings toward the children's other parent, the situation may prove complicated. If you and the other parent have divorced, the children may split time spent with you and with your ex. As such arrangements commonly occur, you may still feel a sense of anxiety around the situation.

As part of your arrangement, you may have to meet with the other parent in order to conduct custody exchanges. For some individuals, these meetings can often prove tense and present the opportunity for the other parent to attempt to pick a fight or make some other type of scene.

What is a Guardian ad Litem?

When you are going through divorce in North Carolina, one of the biggest concerns will likely be who gets custody of your children. While you and your spouse may both want to have complete control over the physical and legal care of your child, a judge will be in charge of deciding who gets custody. If the situation is difficult to determine, The North Carolina Court System states that a Guardian ad Litem will often be consulted to assist in the case.

 

What problems can arise in visitation?

While many North Carolina residents believe that negotiations are over once the judge declares you legally divorced, the truth is that there are often unforeseen problems that can arise concerning your visitation schedule. Often, parents find themselves heading back to the court room to determine a solution to the problem. The North Carolina State Bar – Legal Assistance for Military Personnel has outlined the issues you may find once your visitation schedule is in place.

 

Why fathers may receive custody of the kids

As a parent raising children in North Carolina and in the U.S. in general, you may have noticed how family dynamics have changed significantly throughout the years. While women were once the primary caretakers and ran the household, men were often the breadwinners and maintained a career in order to make ends meet. Times have changed, however, and now a number of moms are primary earners and dads are more likely to stay at home and take care of the children. In fact, a study conducted by the Pew Research Center discovered that mothers are the primary earner in 40 percent of U.S households, including those that are headed by single moms.

When filing for divorce, the judge presiding over the case will look at these dynamics, including who spent more time with the children on a daily basis. When determining child custody in a divorce case, the judge may ask you who spends more time with the children. Who takes the kids to their doctors’ appointments, schedules playdates, volunteers at school and attends parent-teacher conferences? In most cases, it is in the best interest of the children to ensure they have time with both parents, as each parent plays a very important role in the child’s life. Yet, the judge often wants to maintain the same type of lifestyle that the children were used to. If that daily lifestyle involves the father as the primary caretaker, he may receive primary custody of the child and the mother may be ordered to pay child support.