When a couple decides to call it quits and file for divorce, they are faced with many important decisions. When the divorce involves minor children, things become more complex. Decisions about child custody and visitation, as well as child support, have to be agreed upon by North Carolina parents in the midst of divorce.
When deciding on these matters, parents are required to be objective about various aspects, such as the care of the minor children, what would be in their best interests and how they will be supported. The decisions regarding who gets custody of minor children is often one of the most daunting for couples to make, because it does not only involve with whom the children will live but also when the other parent may see the children and for how long. Although the final order is made by the court, an agreement reached on these matters beforehand makes things much easier.
A court may assign custody to both parents or to only one of the two. Joint legal custody allows both parents to play parts in making decisions impacting on the children. On the other side, the court may decide to award sole legal custody to one parent who will then be the one making the decisions regarding all matters concerning the child.
As in the case of legal custody, a court may award either sole or joint physical custody. Where legal custody aims at deciding who has the right to make decisions on a child's behalf, physical custody concerns the responsibility for the day-to-day care of the child. When sole physical custody is awarded to one parent, visitation rights will be arranged for the other parent.
In reaching agreements on these matters, a North Carolina family lawyer can provide the parties with invaluable assistance. Often divorcing couples have reached points at which it has become difficult to negotiate or even talk civilly to one another. Their lawyers then play integral roles in assisting with reaching agreements on child custody and finding what is best for the children involved.
Source: marriage.com, "Child Custody and Visitation in a Divorce", Accessed on Nov. 4, 2016