Most people assume that child custody is automatically granted to the mother. But those days are long gone, and in truth, fathers in North Carolina have the same rights as mothers.
That said, there are still challenges to preserving a fathers’ right to be an active part of their child’s life. So if you are a father hoping to get custody, you need someone who understands your desire to have a relationship with your child and with the skill to make it happen. A father’s rights lawyer from Breeden Law Office is ready to be by your side. Let us review your situation, explain your natural – and legal parental rights, and fight to protect them.
North Carolina law does not preferer one parent over another in custody matters. Decisions are made with the best interests of the child in mind, but that is easier said than done. Sometimes, there are biases towards the mother in custody cases, and fathers must defend their role in a child’s life.
Several years ago, North Carolina discarded a long-held statute referred to as the “Tender Years Doctrine” regarding child custody. This law was based on the outdated notion that a child’s mother is better equipped to care for a child, especially in the early years.
Nowadays, the state recognizes that it is just as significant to have a father in a child’s life and only considers the best interest of the child while deciding child custody. And while physical and legal custody agreements can be workout without a court order, both parents can present reasons why they should have a more substantial role. Various factors are considered in making custody determinations, including the child’s safety, environment, and financial means of the parents, among others.
Related Reading: Mothers Custody Rights
Aside from being involved in joint and sole custody decisions, fathers in North Carolina also have visitation rights equal to mothers. This means when one parent has custody of the child, the other still has the right to visit.
Like custody, visitation is based on the child’s best interests, but schedules are often based on practical things, like school calendars, the distance between the parents, and work obligations. Visitation schedules can also be worked out amongst the parents; however, courts get involved to ensure each parent receives some time with their child.
Fathers need to remember that visitation in North Carolina cannot be obstructed or prohibited based on an inability to meet child support obligations. If your former spouse or the mother of your child is denying visitation, this constitutes a violation of your parental rights, and a father’s rights attorney can help. In addition to securing parenting time, a lawyer can seek a modified support order to ease the financial burden.
In North Carolina, both parents have the legal responsibility to provide child support until the obligation legally ends. Typically, child support concludes when the child reaches 18, although, in some situations, child support can continue until the age of 20.
For mothers and fathers, child support is meant to provide for a child’s “reasonable needs.” Various factors determine this amount under the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines. The formula outlined by the guidelines considers both parents’ incomes as well as other criteria.
There is no requirement to pay support based on gender. Depending on the circumstances, a father could just as easily receive child support from the mother to raise a child.
Again, like child custody, either parent can seek a child support modification based on a change in circumstances. If you are a father interested in pursuing child support or would like to discuss adjusting what you pay or receive, it’s best to work with an experienced lawyer who can tell you what to expect.
A father’s parental rights towards his children are not dictated by marriage. However, paternity does affect parental rights when it comes to asserting or enforcing your rights. This means that you do not have to be legally married to the child’s mother to pursue custody, visitation, or support, but you do have to be legally deemed to be the father.
If you were married to the mother at the time of a child’s birth, then the law assumes paternity, and automatically considers you as the father. But if you were married after the birth or never married, you can establish paternity through an affidavit or parentage or paternity action.
The affidavit or parentage is essentially a sworn statement from the mother before a witness than confirms you as the father, while a paternity action is a legal claim that may force a genetic test before determining paternity. Regardless of which option you choose, once confirmed, paternity allows you to assert all the legal rights of a father in North Carolina. A lawyer can help you decide which paternity action is best for your situation and guide you through the process, so you and your child are protected.
If you’d like custody of your child, a father’s custody rights lawyer is an invaluable resource. Attorney Jonathan Breeden is well-versed in North Carolina child custody laws and has over 20 years of experience providing fathers compassionate legal representation, so they can obtain a child custody agreement that is right for them and their children.
Many fathers establish joint separation agreements in the short term, but feel like they have sacrificed too much once a divorce is finalized. An experienced lawyer can help facilitate a custody agreement that meets your new needs and desires for your child. In addition, we often work with fathers who were never married and need sole legal custody to protect their children and provide better options for them. We also know that financial situations change, and fathers may need guidance in getting a support modification that lets them provide for their children without unnecessary financial stress.
Fathers in North Carolina have unique issues and concerns when it comes to their children. Fortunately, by working with a father’s rights attorney that knows how to make the laws work in your favor, you’ll increase your chances of getting a favorable outcome for yourself and your children.
Child custody is an important matter that you shouldn’t tackle on your own. Father’s custody rights lawyer, Jonathan Breeden will provide you with the support you need to understand what is in fact in the best interests of your child. This information can then be used to make a wise child custody and visitation decision for both you and your child.
Call Breeden Law Office at (919) 661-4970 for a confidential consultation.
Call Breeden Law Office today:Call (919) 661-4970