Child custody cases involve two primary issues:
- Who makes the decisions regarding the children, and what decisions are these?
- What are the living arrangements for the children, and what schedule is used?
Child custody issues can be negotiated between the parties, and memorialized in a separation agreement or consent order. Child custody issues can also be decided by a judge in court.
There are two types of custody:
- Legal Custody
- Physical Custody
Legal Custody involves decisions regarding the child's health, education, religion, and decisions concerning the child's general upbringing. Legal custody may be sole, where one parent makes these decisions without consultation or input from the other parent. Legal custody may also be joint, where the parents have to reach agreement on decisions for health, education, religion, and general upbringing. These are the "big decisions," not the everyday decisions that occur.
Physical custody is the schedule for the child's living arrangements. Physical custody is often thought of as the "visitation schedule." This involves the specific daily, weekly, or other timetable, and the holiday and vacation schedule.
Child support cases require the determination of how much money one parent must pay to the other for the support and benefit of their children. Child support is determined primarily using the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines. The primary factors used to compute child support are:
- The income of each parent
- The number of children
- The number of overnights that the child spends with each parent
There are situations where the court may deviate upward or downward from the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines. The parties may also voluntarily agree to a higher amount or lower amount of child support.
For a detailed evaluation of your case, please call Levy Law Offices for an initial consultation. There is a $240.00 fee for the initial consultation. Levy Law Offices represents individuals in child custody and child support cases on an hourly basis, which is currently $240.00 per hour.