Charlotte family law lawyers understand how complex child custody proceedings can get. Parents don’t usually envisage fighting with each other to keep their kids. North Carolina custody law doesn’t favor one parent over another. Therefore, any parent or both can have custody of the child. However, some factors can sway the court in particular directions.
A typical example will be where one parent accuses the other of domestic abuse. If you have a custody case involving abuse, you need a Charlotte family law attorney. This is vital because abuse affects the dynamics of the case. It can also determine who gets custody of the children. Below, we explain the possible implications of domestic abuse on Charlotte’s child custody proceedings.
What Is Child Custody?
Child custody in North Carolina refers to the right to make crucial decisions concerning your kids. This issue usually arises after a divorce. However, child custody may also become an issue upon a separation. Custody doesn’t just involve the physical possession of the child. Instead, it extends to control over the child’s affairs.
Types of Child Custody
There are different types of custody in Charlotte, NC. They include physical and legal custody. Firstly, physical custody is a parent’s right to keep the child in their physical possession and care. This could be permanent or just for a short period.
Conversely, legal custody refers to a parent’s right to contribute to or make important decisions affecting the child. Furthermore, both parents can share one or both of these types of custody. However, a single parent can have physical and legal custody in some other cases.
What Is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence in North Carolina involves:
- Actual bodily harm
- Sexual assault, or
- Threats to injure a person with whom the abuser has a personal relationship
Persons with whom the abuser has a personal relationship will include their:
- Current or former spouse
- Current or ex-sexual partner
- A co-parent
- Current or former household member, and
- A current or former boyfriend or girlfriend
This means that a parent could be abusive towards their spouse or the kids.
Proving Domestic Abuse in Child Custody Claims
The court cannot just believe your domestic violence allegations. Instead, you’ll have to establish your partner or former partner’s abusive actions. Therefore, you must gather critical evidence for the case. These would include:
- Police reports
- Eyewitness testimony, including those from neighbors, relatives, teachers, and friends
- Former protective orders
- Child Protective Service (CPS) investigation reports
- Medical records for physical abuse
- Electronic recordings of abusive actions
- Your testimony and the child’s testimony
A Charlotte family lawyer can prove abuse with these pieces of evidence.
What Will the Judge Do?
North Carolina judges often have to decide in the child’s best interest. They have to consider what custody arrangement is most suitable for kids. Therefore, they evaluate several factors before reaching a decision. These would include the following:
- The mental and physical well-being of both parents
- Both parents’ homes and surroundings
- The child’s relationship with the parents
- Alcohol and substance abuse by parents
- Physical, sexual, and emotional abuse by the parents
Consequently, evidence of parental abuse will work against the defaulting parent. The rationale is simple too. Living with an abusive parent is not in the child’s best interests. This is because such abuse will most likely continue. It also matters that the parent was abusive to their spouse. If they can hurt their spouse, they can hurt their child.
Can the Abusive Parent Still Visit the Child?
A parent can lose custody rights because of abuse. However, proof of domestic violence doesn’t bar a parent from ever seeing their child again. Instead, the court may yet grant such a parent visitation rights. The judge may order that the parent only has supervised visitation. This means that an authorized adult must always be present during visitation periods. Reservation of access to the child is because the child-parent relationship can yet be repaired in the future.
Charlotte Family Lawyers Can Help You Get Custody
Are you a divorced or separated parent fighting for your child’s custody? If you are, then it’ll be best to hire the best Charlotte family law attorneys. Is your former spouse abusive towards you or your kids? If so, you have to protect your children from such a parent. However, you cannot do so without excellent legal representation.
Fortunately, at Waple & Houk, we have the experience and desire to help you get custody of your kids. We have a long track record of helping parents who risk losing custody of their children. So, we can do the same for you. You just have to call us today for a confidential consultation.