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Child Custody & Visitation
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Under North Carolina family laws, any parent of a minor child, relative, or third party can file a civil suit to obtain custody of a child. The exception to this law is a child’s biological father convicted of raping and impregnating the mother. Should the custody be contested, both parties are ordered by the court to go through mediation sessions at no cost.
The issue of custody is almost always the most litigated issue in family law. Even though issues of spousal support, child support, and equitable distribution are normally present, parents very naturally place the most emphasis on the issue of custody. There are several steps a court must take before it has the opportunity to hear a case dealing with custody.
There are two (2) types of custody: physical custody and legal custody.
You and your spouse can decide which of you will have custody of your children. If you are unable to resolve this question, then a court will resolve the issue of custody for you.
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The court applies the North Carolina child support guidelines to determine the amount of child support. The Court may vary from the guidelines when it finds by the greater weight of the evidence that their application would either not meet, or would exceed, the reasonable needs of the child.
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