Winston-Salem Child Custody Lawyer

Child custody is a serious matter that greatly affects children long after it is over. Parents should consider what is best for the children while resolving custody issues. Whether you are a biological parent or not, you need to understand the magnitude of the situation and put the child’s needs first.
Child custody disputes are emotionally challenging and legally complex. As such, having a knowledgeable and compassionate legal advocate by your side is vital. The child custody lawyers at King Law understand the intricacies of child custody cases in Winston-Salem and will work diligently to get the best outcome for your children.

How Does Child Custody Work in North Carolina?

Child custody cases in North Carolina often arise during divorce or separation proceedings, where parents must decide the best arrangement for their children’s well-being. The court’s main focus in these cases is to make decisions based on the child’s best interests. This involves considering various factors such as the child’s physical and emotional needs, stability, parental involvement, and any instances of abuse or neglect.

There are different forms of child custody arrangements. A Winston-Salem child custody lawyer will work closely with the parents to understand their situation and develop the best strategy for the child. The different types of custody include:

Physical Custody

This type of custody determines where the child will live and spend their time, whether part-time or all the time. Physical custody can be shared or held solely by one parent.

Legal Custody

This type of custody gives a parent the right to make major decisions regarding the child. These decisions include the child’s education, healthcare, religion, and other vital aspects of their life. Legal custody can be shared or held solely by one parent.

Sole Custody

Sole custody grants a parent both physical and legal custody over the child. A parent with sole custody has complete decision-making authority over the child’s life without consulting the other parent.

Joint Custody

Joint custody gives both parents physical and/or legal custody responsibilities. The child would split their time between both parents. This split can be equal, or one parent can get primary physical custody while the other parent has secondary physical custody, i.e., every other weekend or on regularly scheduled days. Parents with joint custody must consult each other and make major decisions about the child together. If the parents cannot agree, the court can make the decision.

Visitation Rights

Visitation is secondary custody that gives the non-custodial parent the right to visit their child at times stipulated in a court order. Visitation rights may also come with specific conditions that must be met to allow visitation.

Mediation and Litigation Regarding Child Custody in Winston-Salem

Mediation and advocacy allow parents to reach a mutual agreement outside the courtroom. Parents can negotiate custody terms and develop parenting plans that serve the child’s best interests while considering their desires and concerns. It is crucial to find a mediator who understands the importance of reducing conflict to find amicable solutions for the well-being of the children involved. Mediation is preferred because the parents work together to create a tolerable (equally disliked) schedule.

Unfortunately, not every child custody case can be resolved through mediation. In such cases, you need a child custody lawyer in Winston-Salem, NC to provide aggressive court representation. Litigation offers both parents the chance to testify and call witnesses. Afterward, a judge will decide your case. The judge is bound by North Carolina laws to do what is best for the child, not the parents. To make this decision, the court looks at factors like:

  • The child’s relationship with each parent
  • Each parent’s ability to care for the child
  • The parents living arrangements
  • Time each parent spends with the child

Factors like alcohol or drug abuse, physical abuse, and criminal history can hurt your chances in a custody hearing. You should consult with a custody attorney to understand the specific factors that apply to your case.

Who Can File for Child Custody or Visitation?

Several people can legally file for child custody or visitation in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The specific eligibility criteria depend on the circumstances and relationships involved. Here are some key parties who may file for child custody or visitation:

  • Biological or adoptive parents
  • Legal guardians
  • Grandparents
  • Siblings
  • Relatives or close family friends, in exceptional cases
  • Others who have cared for the child

If you are unsure if you can legitimately seek child custody in Winston-Salem, we urge you to speak with a qualified family law professional.

Do I Need an Attorney for My Child Custody Case?

You don’t have to hire a child custody lawyer in Winston-Salem. However, custody cases can be factually complicated and require the presentation of witnesses and documents. If you are unfamiliar with court procedures, it may be challenging to represent yourself. You will be held to the same rules of procedure and evidence as a licensed Winston-Salem child custody attorney. The judge and other court officials cannot help or advise you. 

Unfortunately, the court does not appoint/assign child custody attorneys to represent parties in a child custody case. An experienced Winston-Salem child custody lawyer understands court procedures and how to handle unforeseen curve balls during litigation.

Can My Child Talk to the Judge About What They Want?

There is no age limit to prevent parents from bringing young children to testify in court. However, depending on the child’s age and other circumstances, this can affect the judge’s view of the parent’s judgment. A court must first ensure the child knows the value of being truthful before allowing them to testify. The following are the situations in which a parent can bring a child to testify in court:

  • As a witness to specific incidents
  • To speak to the judge about their preferences. The judge must determine that the child has sufficient maturity and good judgment. Often, judges consider teenagers’ preferences. However, the judge does not have to rule according to their preferences.

Judges prefer to have children wait outside the courtroom and may speak to children in chambers without the parents present.

Secure the Best Future for Your Children With King Law

Are you facing a child custody dispute in Winston-Salem? Don’t navigate the complex legal process alone. Protecting your children’s best interests is our main priority. We will guide you through every step of the custody process, whether through negotiation, mediation, or courtroom representation.

Contact King Law today by filling out our contact form or calling (888) 748-5464, or (888) 748-KING, to schedule a consultation with our experienced child custody lawyers. Our professionals will guide you through the complexity of child custody disputes, protecting the safety and welfare of your most valuable asset: your kids.

The Essential Plan
  • Last Will and Testament
  • General Durable Power of Attorney
  • Healthcare Power of Attorney
  • Living Will
  • HIPPA Release
  • Tangible Personal Property Memorandum
  • Funeral & Memorial Instructions
  • Complete Execution, Witnessing, Notarization, and Filing of Documents
  • Guardianship Provisions for Minor Children
  • Free Mirror Image Documents for Spouse
The Legacy Plan
  • Last Will and Testament
  • General Durable Power of Attorney
  • Healthcare Power of Attorney
  • Living Will
  • HIPPA Release
  • Tangible Personal Property Memorandum
  • Funeral & Memorial Instructions
  • Complete Execution, Witnessing, Notarization, and Filing of Documents
  • Guardianship Provisions for Minor Children
  • Free Mirror Image Documents for Spouse
  • Leather-bound Binder for Documents
  • Personal Information Organizer
  • Testamentary Trust Option
  • Guidelines for Serving as Personal Representative
  • Lady Bird Life Estate Deed
  • Case Manager who will meet with you Annually to discuss possible changes or updates in the law
  • Living Trust
  • Deed(s) to Living Trust
  • Assignment of Personal Property to Trust
  • Bill of Sale to Trust
  • Certification of Trust
  • Guidelines for Serving as Trustee
  • Guidelines for Organ Donation
  • Twenty-Five Percent (25%) Discount on Estate, Probate, or Trust Administration Services for Immediate Family