Greensboro Child Custody Lawyer
All the component parts of a divorce settlement are important, but perhaps none is more important to parents than what happens to their children. The settlement will decide where children will be raised, who will have decision-making authority and how all of this will be financed. Child custody decisions are important enough that the state of North Carolina mandates that couples who cannot find an agreement in direct negotiation at least try a third-party mediator before going to court. Parents need to know that their legal counsel has a deep working knowledge of all facets of custody and state law. We aim to give them that peace of mind.
Our Greensboro child custody lawyer has been fighting for clients since 1997 and founded Roupas Law Firm in 2005. Attorney Tom Roupas takes pride in delivering good legal advice, built on rigorous due diligence and passionate advocacy. From our Greensboro office, Roupas Law Firm serves all of Guilford County and throughout Alamance, Rockingham, and Randolph counties.
Physical Custody & Legal Custody in North Carolina
Child custody is broken into two distinct parts. The first is the physical custody of the child. This refers to which parent they will live with. The physical custody agreement will also include terms on visitation rights for the non-custodial parent. Visitation rights themselves need to be detailed, covering exactly when the kids go with the non-custodial parent and when they need to be returned.
Furthermore, the decision on physical custody can have ripple effects on the rest of the divorce settlement. What happens with the house will also be a part of the negotiations. If it’s determined that the best interests of the child—the sole, overriding factor in all child custody decisions—are served by staying in the house they’ve been living in, then the custody decision necessarily impacts who gets the house. Which in turn impacts how the rest of the property division is worked out.
An experienced lawyer, who has been through negotiations like these over and over, can draw on the results of those past cases in advising clients.
Legal custody refers to decision-making authority in a child’s life. Specifically, parental rights include the ability to make decisions on a child’s education, their medical care, if there will be religious upbringing, and if so, what kind. It’s not uncommon for parents to share legal custody equally, with one parent holding primary physical custody.
Sole Custody & Joint Custody
North Carolina law starts with a basic premise—that the best interests of the child are served by having both parents equally involved in their lives. In other words, that joint custody apply.
But every circumstance is different. We’ve already cited one example—it may be concluded that the best interests of the child are served by keeping their primary residence the same in a time otherwise marked by significant change. That would be one reason to award sole physical custody, rather than the joint custody arrangement where children might spend two weeks with one parent, followed by two weeks with the other.
It's also possible that one of the parents is not fit to assume the responsibilities of legal custody or physical custody. A parent might believe their ex has a problem with substance abuse. There could be domestic violence involved. Or general irresponsibility might be the concern. Parents who believe their ex is unfit need to bring this up with their attorney right away, because the burden of proof will lie with the parent who is pushing for sole custody.
At Roupas Law Firm, we know how important our clients’ children are to them and we know how difficult this process can be on everyone. We can’t take the personal pain away—as much as we wish we could. But we can certainly give parents the reassurance that comes from knowing they have conscientious and diligent legal counsel, reviewing the smallest details of their case and strongly pushing for their best interests, and that of their children.
"After the call not only was I treated with kindness and respect, I was totally confident that Attorney Roupas could handle my case!"- Candice T.
"I feel like attorney Roupas balances integrity, efficiency, intelligence, and legal expertise perfectly."- Cole P.