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North Carolina Family Law Blog

Can you go to jail for not vaccinating your child?

In North Carolina, you have the right to refuse vaccinations for your child for non-medical reasons. However, if you are a divorced parent, you may face additional scrutiny for your decision from the child's other parent. It is possible you could face serious punishment for not vaccinating your child if the other parent takes you to court.

The Washington Post reported on a recent parental rights case where a mother refused to vaccinate her child despite having been ordered by the court to do so. The court ruled in the favor of your former husband, saying his parental rights were being violating by her refusal. The case was not looked at by the court as a case about vaccinations. It was considered a case about parental rights.

Tips for co-parenting effectively

One of the biggest struggles after a divorce in North Carolina is trying to work together as parents to take care of the children. In some cases, co-parenting issues cause a lot of stress and strain. Most often, the ones affected are the children. Parents need to realize that the children become the most important thing after a divorce. This is why it is essential for parents to learn how to properly and effectively co-parent.

GoodTherapy.org notes that divorced parents should look at the situation from their children's point of view. This will help them to understand how confusing, upsetting and frustrating it can be to move between two homes when they were used to only living in one. Parents will be better able to empathize, which can lead to better relationships with the children and with the other parent.

What is custody mediation?

What is custody mediation?

If you and your spouse are North Carolina residents thinking about getting a divorce, your biggest concern probably is your children. You want your children to be able to adjust to the new family structure as quickly and easily as possible. If, however, you and your spouse are having disagreements about custody, visitation, child support or any other matter regarding your divorce, mediation may be the best way for you to resolve your differences in a civilized, cooperative manner that will best serve your children.

Determining a custody arrangement that's best for your children

Your divorce may affect your children in ways you may not even realize. If you and your soon-to-be former spouse have kept things quiet regarding your parting of ways, when you break the news to your kids, they may be overwhelmed with all kinds of emotions -- some of which may include shock, sadness, anger and perhaps even guilt.

Keeping the best interests of your children at heart moving forward with your divorce, you might want to think about what would be the most positive situation for them when it comes to custody arrangements.

Tips for smooth visitation schedules

One of the toughest situations for a couple that has recently been divorced in North Carolina is figuring out visitation schedules. Once schedules are ironed out, it is often difficult to make the transitions between each parent go smoothly. Because the children should always feel comfortable and happy with the situation, it is up to the parents to ensure visitation is easy and the transition between homes is not a big disturbance.

Our Family Wizard notes there are some things parents should do to help make visitation easier on everyone. Being on time for exchanges, preparing kids ahead of time and being respectful of each other are three tips that can really help parents. When people are rushing to meet the other parent, it can create tension. Having everyone ready ahead of time and leaving on time can resolve a lot of issues that often make visitation exchanges a stressful situation.

The many schedules of parenting time

One of the most complicated aspects of divorce in North Carolina is a parenting schedule that will work for you, your ex-spouse and your child. While you may breathe a sigh of relief once you have finally figured out an arrangement that works, the truth is that you are likely to encounter frequent changes that will make that schedule impossible to stick to. We at Jeffrey E. Marshall can help you determine alternate schedules that can be enacted when your typical parenting plan will not apply.

According to CustodyXchange.com, you will likely have three different schedules: residence, summer break and holidays. Determining what will happen when any of these occasions occur can reduce stress and allow you and your ex-spouse to seamlessly transfer to the agreement that best fits your situation.

What impact do dads have on a child’s well-being?

If you ask 10 North Carolina residents what makes a great father, you may receive 10 different answers, but one fact is undisputable: children who have their fathers in their lives tend to be more successful and better adjusted than those who do not. Not only that, but you do not necessarily have to be in the running for “father of the year” to have a positive impact on your child’s future – in most cases, your mere presence and participation in his or her life is enough to make a substantial difference.

Consider this: Parenting magazine reports that young children whose fathers play an active role in their lives are more prepared for school and have higher IQs than those without fathers by age 3, and they also demonstrate stronger problem-solving abilities than children who grow up without their dads. The positive effects of having a father active in one’s life go far beyond toddlerhood, too. School children with active fathers are about a third less likely than those without fathers to have to repeat a grade, and teen girls with active fathers are statistically far less likely to get pregnant than those with absent dads.

Getting the most out of visits with your noncustodial child

As a North Carolina parent without primary custody of your child, you probably value your visits with your son or daughter greatly, and you want to make sure that you maximize every minute of the limited time you have together. At Marshall & Taylor PLLC, we have considerable experience helping parents maintain positive, thriving relationships with their noncustodial children, and we have assisted many clients who wish to secure visitation or custodial rights to their offspring.

Per The Spruce, regardless of whether your visits with your noncustodial child are frequent or few and far between, there are certain steps you can take to make them go more smoothly. For example, one of the easiest things you can do to make the transition between you and the other parent’s home is to determine a schedule, and stick to it. Children thrive off of consistency, but it is also important to note that the visitation needs of your child may fluctuate over time.

Is avoiding custody conflict the most important factor?

Most North Carolina parents -- undoubtedly you among them -- want to do what they can to ensure that their children grow up happy and healthy. The steps you choose to take to work toward these outcomes may differ from the choices other individuals make, but the same type of caring and love may go into your decisions. As a result, when you face a considerably challenging situation, such as a divorce, you may wonder what actions may lessen the possibility for negative impacts on your kids.

Your immediate thought when it comes to concerns regarding divorce may go to child custody. You may wonder what custody terms may most benefit your kids and allow them to escape potential stress and conflict. However, you may want to understand that lasting tension and conflict may not exist in your case or many other cases for that matter.

What are considerations in out-of-state visitation schedules?

If you are in a situation where you or the child's other parent has moved out of the state of North Carolina, then you may be dealing with developing a new visitation plan. While this scenario is not ideal, it is something that many families deal with. This means there are some great tips and lot of advice out there to help you as you work on your own plan.

Custody Exchange notes that having a plan is essential to avoiding issues in the future with child visitation schedules. Typically in a family situation like this, only one parent is granted physical custody. This means the other parent must get a visitation schedule. Regardless of which parent you are, you should want to work towards an amicable schedule because that is what is in the best interest of your children. They need both of you in their lives. Starting your plan with a positive attitude and willingness to work together is the best thing you can do.