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North Carolina Family Law Blog

Determining child visitation plans for holidays

If you are recently divorced in North Carolina, you may be well aware of the complicated decisions that are ahead of you. Choices regarding child custody, visitation and the separation of assets all require considerable thought and careful negotiation. At Marshall & Taylor we have helped many people just like you to make beneficial decisions regarding their divorce.

When the holidays roll around, your first instinct may be to fight for visitation so your children can spend that time with you. The Huffington Post suggests that you and your spouse do your best to be reasonable about creating a visitation schedule for holidays.

Stay at home fathers may be awarded custody

The majority of divorce cases in North Carolina that order sole-physical custody, award that custody to the mother. Although the father may be granted regular visitation, including overnight visits, weekends and certain holidays, the child’s primary residence is with the mother. This is often awarded in cases where the mother has spent more time fulfilling the caregiver role in raising the children. While this may be the trend, an increasing number of fathers are being granted sole-physical custody in cases where they have spent more time raising and caring for the child on a daily basis.  

According to the Census Bureau, the number of stay-at-home fathers has nearly tripled over the past decade. Statistics show that over two million fathers in the U.S. stay home with their children as either primary caregivers or work part-time in order to help take care of the children. In many families, the roles of who takes care of the children have changed. More women are working in high-paying careers, which puts them at risk when it comes to receiving primary-custody of the children. In some cases, it may be more economical for the father to stay at home with the children if the mother is making more money.

The difference between child custody and visitation

While there are many aspects of divorce that can be confusing, the amount of time will you get to spend with your children may be one of the most complicated. Judges in North Carolina will not only determine how many days or hours a week you get to have your children, they will also determine whether or not you are given custody or visitation. We at Marshall and Taylor Law Firm work to help you determine and secure a custody arrangement that is best for you and your family.


How can you get the most out of summer co-parenting?

Summer break is here (or at least on its way), and that means fun in the sun for North Carolina families. Arranging visitation schedules around vacations, summer jobs, day camps and other activities, however, can be an exhausting and frustrating process. Here are a few tips to help you and your child get the most out of your time together this summer.

Huffington Post states that good communication is key for creating your summer schedule. It is a good idea for you and your former partner to discuss your respective plans, no matter how tense your relationship may be. This prevents unpleasant surprises when you prepare to pick up or drop off your child. You should also sit down with your child to find out what he or she wants to do while away from school. Does he want to find a job? Does she want to participate in sports? These activities may interfere with your visitation schedule, but talking it out is a good way to minimize conflict.

Don't let alimony go south in a North Carolina divorce

For a partnership to work, both parties must make contributions that help them in achieving their shared goals. That holds true whether the partnership is a business undertaking or a marriage. To reverse the old adage, the whole is only as great as the sum of its parts.

When the partnership of a marriage ends, the two parties go their separate ways. Before that happens, however, numerous issues will need settling. The matter of post-separation spousal support (PSS), or alimony, may be a key issue in your divorce, especially if your contributions to the partnership were largely non-monetary in nature. 

The importance of fathers in a child’s development

While parents may be together, separated or divorced, children still need both parents in their lives. In some cases, a family separates and children may end up residing with their mother. The father is put on a set visitation schedule, allowing them time with their children one night a week and every other weekend. Other situations involve joint-custody, or equal times with each parent. Whatever the case may be, it is crucial that children develop a bond with their father. Studies show that when children are bonded to both parents, they have a better overall development.  

The Father Involvement Research Alliance evaluated a review of studies and found that children who have involved fathers at birth tend to be more confident in new environments, emotionally secure and comfortable exploring their surroundings. Kids with regular access to their dads have better grades, according to studies performed by the U.S. Department of Education.

What is the best interests standard?

If you are seeking custody or visitation rights to a child in a North Carolina court, you are probably aware that the best interests of the child play a crucial role in the court’s final decision. However, the phrase “the best interests of the child” encompasses a wide range of ideas, and the court’s view of what comprises best interests may differ from your own or those of the child in question. Here are a few important factors in the best interests standard.

Huffington Post writes that from the court’s perspective, the best interests of your child cover a lengthy checklist of items, including the child’s needs and your own qualifications, as well as those of the other parent. Financial stability and the ability to provide a suitable home for the child are two vital legal points of consideration in determining who should have custody and whether (or how much) visitation time should be awarded to the noncustodial parent. Your mental and physical health also may play a role in the court’s decision, as will any criminal records or histories of domestic violence.

Why fathers should get paternity leave

When it comes to new babies joining your family, maternity leave is often expected. Mothers are generally given anywhere from six week to three months to spend time with their child, recover from delivery and an infant sleep pattern, and arrange schedules and details so that she can eventually return to work. In most cases, however, the father of the child is not given any time off and is forced to return to work immediately, all while struggling to adjust to a new baby in the home. At Marshall and Taylor, we fight for your rights as a mother or a father.


Late-life divorce? Save more for retirement with a table for one

Although often stressful and daunting, divorce is a process that many individuals have experienced at some point in their lives. For some, the decision may be sudden and unexpected; while others might have known it was coming for quite some time. Either way, the end of a marriage can change the dynamic of your retirement.

Perhaps you have recently divorce and are eager to move forward with your life. Regardless of the circumstances you are facing, you will likely want to proceed with caution. Making informed decisions regarding your retirement accounts during and after divorce may help you avoid certain unforeseen and potentially devastating consequences.

Enforcing a child custody order with law enforcement

Going through divorce can be draining, but some ex-spouses in North Carolina cause the drama to continue by ignoring the child custody orders and forcing you to seek help from the law. While this can be physically, emotionally and mentally exhausting for you, there are ways to ensure that all rules are followed and your divorce agreement is honored. We at Marshall and Taylor are here to help you determine the original custody arrangement as well as hold the court accountable for enforcing it.