Child Support, Custody, and Parental Rights in North Carolina

Child support payments

Generally, parents decide on child support payments by mutual agreement, but sometimes lawyers have to get involved. All agreements are generally based on North Carolina child support guidelines. Child support is decided upon based on each parent’s income including stock options and IRAs. After child support has been decided upon it must be paid or the court could hold the parent in contempt. Child support actions can be filed on their own. But they can also be joined with other civil actions like an action for annulment, absolute divorce, divorce from bed & board, and alimony without divorce. Child support can take the form of cash payments or property transfer.

Child custody

Unlike many other laws, child custody laws are quite similar from state to state. This is because most states, including North Carolina, have adopted the Uniform Child Custody Act. Child custody laws allow grandparents visitation rights and offer joint custody. Most of all, North Carolina courts consider the child’s wishes in child custody hearings. There are two types of child custody. Legal custody refers to the ability to be a part of important decisions in a child’s life. Physical custody refers to the parent that the child lives with. When determining a ruling in a child custody hearing the judge will take into account the child’s overall safety, the child’s current living arrangement, their relationship with each parent, each parent’s ability to care for the child and a bit more.

Parental rights

North Carolina does not have a state statute that defines parental rights and fundamental. Because of this and a judge’s natural bias towards the mother, it is important for fathers to establish their rights. There are some specific grounds for termination of parental rights. In cases of abuse or neglect the parent’s rights can be terminated. If the parent forfeits their child to foster care for more than 12 months parental rights are also terminated. Failure to pay child support for more than one year, if the child is born out of wedlock, in cases of abandonment, or if the parent isn’t capable of providing the proper care it is also grounds to have their parental rights terminated.

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