Child Custody

Nothing is more stressful in a divorce action that trying to come up with an appropriate custody schedule. Courts find it very difficult to be of aid in a situation as delicate as this, and often fall back on their own personal judgments. That’s why you need a child custody lawyer fighting for your best interests in North Carolina and South Carolina.

In determining custody, the court will look at the development of the child in five clear ways: physically, mentally, morally, educationally and spiritually. Blackley v. Blackley, 285 N.C. 358 (1974).

Many clients are concerned how the court will discriminate against them. Often fathers feel disadvantaged, or mother’s feel overconfident due to their gender. The truth, however, is much different.

There are no presumptions between a mother or father. The Court in Rosero v. Blake, 357 N.C. 193 (2003) held, “between a mother and father, whether natural or adoptive, there is no presumption as to who will…better promote the interest and welfare of the child”. As your child custody lawyer in South Carolina and North Carolina, King Law Firm will make sure the court looks at what’s best for your son or daughter.

There should be no illusions that an appeal will change an outcome after a court date. In fact, trial courts are almost never overturned.

There are little opportunities for appeal in custody cases. The Court of Appeals is not any more inclined that the trial courts to get involved in the facts of a custody case. “In a child custody case, the trial court’s findings of fact are conclusive on appeal if supported by substantial evidence, even if there is sufficient evidence to support contrary findings․ Unchallenged findings of fact are binding on appeal .” Peters v. Pennington, 210 N.C.App. 1, 12–13, 707 S.E.2d 724, 733 (2011) (citing Koufman v. Koufman, 330 N.C. 93, 97, 408 S.E.2d 729, 731 (1991)) (other citation omitted). “Whether [the trial court’s] findings of fact support [its] conclusions of law is reviewable de novo.” Hall v. Hall, 188 N.C.App. 527, 530, 655 S.E.2d 901, 904 (2008) (citation omitted). “ ‘If the trial court’s uncontested findings of fact support its conclusions of law, we must affirm the trial court’s order.’ “ Respess v. Respess, ––– N.C.App. ––––, ––––, 754 S.E.2d 691, 695 (2014) (quoting Mussa v. Palmer–Mussa, 366 N.C. 185, 191, 731 S.E.2d 404, 409 (2012)). Our South Carolina and North Carolina child custody lawyers are experienced in navigating these regulations to help clients achieve the best outcome for all parties involved.

Under N.C. Gen.Stat. § 50–13.1(a) “the word ‘custody’ shall be deemed to include custody or visitation or both.” N.C. Gen.Stat. § 50–13.2(a) provides in relevant part that:
An order for custody of a minor child ․ shall award the custody of such child to such person ․ as will best promote the interest and welfare of the child. In making the determination, the court shall consider all relevant factors ․ and shall make findings accordingly. An order for custody must include findings of fact which support the determination of what is in the best interest of the child.

In Burger v. Smith (November 2015- North Carolina Court of Appeals), the Trial Court said that a minor child that was breastfeeding was required to visit his father in Malawi.
The finding of the Court was that the “Plaintiff is concerned about the minor child traveling to Malawi to visit with the Defendant due to health reasons, parasite disease, the threat of malaria, the presence of poisonous snakes, extreme heat, and the unreliability of the hospitals located there”. In this case, the Trial Court still found visitation was proper and the Court of Appeals affirmed.

If you have any questions about the complex nature of the child custody system in North Carolina and South Carolina, our child custody lawyers and legal staff would be happy to accept a call or email from you.