Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: “What are my custody rights if the other parent moves?”
For many parents who are going through a divorce, child custody becomes their top priority. In fact, many parents do not care that much about alimony and property distribution as they do about custody.
Unfortunately, parents tend to make mistakes during the divorce process that can hurt their child custody case. In North Carolina, all custody orders must be based on the best interests of the children. However, there are certain things you can do as a divorced parent that can result in an unfavorable outcome.
Five Child Custody Mistakes to Avoid in North Carolina
While some of these things may seem reasonable, depending on your circumstances, they can actually hurt your child custody case in North Carolina.
1. Withholding Visitation
When there is no justifiable or urgent reason, parents should never withhold visitation from the other parent. Under North Carolina’s family law, it is in the best interest of the child to spend time with both parents unless either parent poses a threat to the child’s safety or well-being.
Generally, it is never reasonable to withhold visitation from the other parent unless there is a court order. However, in rare cases, a parent may prevent the other parent from seeing their child if the parent poses a threat to the child. Either way, you should consult with a skilled child custody attorney to discuss your options.
2. Prioritizing Your Own Interests
Placing your interests above your children can negatively impact your child custody case in North Carolina. As mentioned earlier, judges focus on what is in the children’s best interests. Therefore, you should never make decisions that prioritize your own interests.
For example, just because you think that relocating with your child following a divorce would be good for you does not necessarily mean that moving to another state would be good for your child.
Previously, we discussed whether you can relocate with your child after your divorce.
3. Losing Your Temper
You may think that losing your temper can help get your point heard. In reality, all it does is show that you cannot control your emotions and thus may not be fit to provide care for your child. Losing your cool in front of the judge may demonstrate a lack of control. Thus, becoming angry and lashing out at the other parent may hurt your child custody case and result in unintended consequences.
4. Refusing to Compromise
The parents’ willingness to compromise and find the middle ground is key to success in any child custody case. Your ability to cooperate with your spouse will make the process stress-free and more cost-efficient, not to mention that your willingness to compromise will certainly make a good impression in the courtroom.
5. Starting a New Romantic Relationship Too Soon
Previously, we discussed how dating someone while your divorce is pending could have an adverse effect on your custody and visitation rights in North Carolina. While divorce means that you can finally revitalize your love life, it is not advised to start a new romantic relationship too soon. Starting a new dating relationship too soon can negatively affect your child custody case, especially if you bring new romantic partners around your children.
In North Carolina, courts may determine that it is not in the best interests of your child to meet your new romantic partners. Also, the fact that you moved on so soon may possibly anger your soon-to-be-ex-spouse, making your child custody case even more complicated than it has to be.
Unfortunately, you could make many other mistakes throughout your child custody case. To minimize the occurrence of those mistakes, contact our skilled child custody attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC. Get a phone or video consultation by calling at (704) 370-2828 to speak with our detail-oriented and well-versed lawyers with offices in Charlotte, Lake Norman, and Monroe, please contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today or find additional resources here.
The family law practice group at Arnold & Smith, PLLC includes two Board-Certified Family Law specialists and one Child Welfare Law specialist, as well as several attorneys with many years of family law experience that are committed to providing a powerful voice to individuals facing the often-tumultuous issues in this area of law. The range of issues our family law clients may be facing include pre- and post-nuptial agreements; separation agreements; post-separation support; child support (both temporary and permanent); absolute divorce; divorce from bed and board; military divorce; equitable distribution of assets; child custody (both temporary and permanent); retirement benefits and divorce; alimony and spousal support; adoption; and emancipation. Because this area of the law is usually emotionally charged and complicated, the family law attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC act with the utmost dedication to ensure that each client understands his or her options, and then act to achieve the best result possible for that client’s particular situation.
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