When divorcing parents are creating a custody and visitation plan, the best interests of the child come first. North Carolina courts will look at a variety of factors to determine if an order is in fact in a child's best interest. For example, they will look to see if it creates a sense of consistency in a child's life.
North Carolina parents who are going through a divorce may have questions about how their living arrangements will affect the court's decision on custody. Courts have specific standards for acceptable living accommodations that vary by the court, state and judge.
Some parents in North Carolina who are getting a divorce might be able to co-parent effectively, but others may not. However, they may still want their child to have a relationship with the other parent that is not marred by the conflict between the two of them. Studies show it is this conflict that is the hardest for children to deal with when their parents get divorced. Parents in this situation may want to try parallel parenting instead of co-parenting.
Some divorced or unmarried fathers might face obstacles when it comes to child support and custody. One father who was unable to keep up with child support payments lost his job, went to jail and had to declare bankruptcy. Another was faced with a protection order that said he tried to prevent his wife and children from driving away and had mood swings. A third, who had a child from a short relationship, only got a few days per month with his child. Some North Carolina fathers may face similar difficulties.
There are a number of reasons that separated or divorced parents in North Carolina might need to request a child custody modification. Since courts attempt to make decisions that are in the best interests of the child, if a modification is determined to fulfill that criteria, the custody schedule may be changed.
One of the challenges parents in North Carolina may have to face after divorce is that of co-parenting. However, even if the divorce was acrimonious, it is important for ex-spouses to respect one another in their parental roles.
Divorcing parents in North Carolina will need to create a parenting schedule for custody and visitation. It is important that parents make this schedule child-focused because it shows children that their parents are working together toward their best interests.
Depending on a parent's perspective, it may be a huge relief or a cause of a concern that, in North Carolina, child custody and parenting time decisions are not set in stone. This is true even when the parents made an agreement about such issues and one of them wants to change the agreement.
A previous post on this blog discussed how Statesville, North Carolina, parents might be able to use a child custody mediator to resolve any child custody disputes or disagreements over either parent's visitation rights. The ideal result of a child custody mediator is when the mediator is able to prepare a written agreement that both parties are willing to sign. Failing this, a mediator's role in the case usually ends when either parent indicates that he or she is no longer interested in trying to negotiate an agreement.
Child custody mediation has been growing in popularity over recent years such that many residents of Statesville and other North Carolina residents may have heard of it even if they haven't gone through a custody matter themselves.