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Custody and Child Support

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Child Custody and Child Support in North Carolina

When a couple separates, the well-being of their children is often their primary concern. At Durham Family Law Group, we explore the areas of concern you may have about your children, and we will work closely with you to address them in a constructive way. While separation of parents is a major transition in the life of a child, it does not have to be traumatic in the long term. There are ways to minimize the potential negative impact of divorce on children, and we work hard to help you achieve that goal.

You may have significant differences with your spouse about where your children will live (physical custody), who will make major decisions affecting them (legal custody), and how their financial needs will be met (child support). If that is the case, we will help you develop positive strategies for addressing the needs of your children, and we’ll work to avoid unnecessary and destructive conflict with your spouse whenever possible.

Mediation or Collaborative Divorce may be process options we will discuss with you. Another option is to seek the advice of a child psychologist to identify parenting strategies and custody schedules that will serve the best needs of the children. Expert advice from a neutral party can sometimes help reduce parenting and custody conflicts between parents. In high conflict cases, a Parenting Coordinator may be appointed by agreement or by the court to

help parents resolve day-to-day conflicts regarding parenting and schedules.

With effective negotiation strategies and communication, most people are able to resolve the issues of custody and child support by agreement. Sometimes, however, it is not possible to reach agreement on those issues, and litigation is the only option. In that case, we’ll vigorously advocate for your rights and interests in court.

North Carolina has established Child Support Guidelines, a uniform system for calculating child support based on a number of factors, including the following:

  • the gross income of each parent
  • the number of children
  • the amount of time each child spends with each parent
  • payments each parent makes for work-related child care expenses and health insurance premiums for the child

In the majority of cases, child support will be based on the Guidelines. In some cases, if it can be proven that application of the Guidelines will result in a level of support that exceeds the child’s actual needs or is insufficient to meet actual needs, a deviation from the Guidelines is appropriate.



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