An already contentious divorce can only escalate further if there are children involved in the situation. In such an emotionally charged situation, it is often difficult for divorcing parents to see eye to eye on how they want to proceed with sharing parental responsibilities once their divorce is finalized. While it is possible for some couples to come to an agreement on their own, most of the time, child custody and child support agreements is a result of some form of intervention from the court.
While laws regarding how child custody differ among different U.S. states, most arrangement decided upon by a family court judge can be classified into three general categories. Joint physical custody refers to an arrangement where both parents are considered “custodial parents,” meaning that their children’s living situations will be divided equally between both spouses. Meanwhile, a joint legal custody refers to scenarios where only one parent is considered the custodial parent, while the other is given full freedom to participate in making legal decisions that affect their children’s needs. Finally, a sole custody arrangement involves situations where only one parent is granted both physical and legal custody of the children, with the other being granted visitation rights.
In most child custody arrangements, coming to a fair child support plan is extremely necessary for divorces that end with one parent as the children’s primary caregiver. In such a situation, the custodial parent is expected to receive monthly payments from the former spouse in aid of their children’s needs. The amount that the non-custodial parent is expected to pay will depend on the particular details of the case, with the court mostly taking into consideration factors such as the health and income of both parents.
There is no doubt that going through a divorce is difficult and emotionally draining. With children caught in the cross fire, the proceedings can only become more contentious without any outside help. As such, it’s important for divorcing couples to each consult with experienced family law attorneys that can help them advocate for their children’s needs. If you are from North Carolina and you need help sorting out a child custody dispute, do not hesitate to contact a Raleigh custody lawyer to learn more about your options.