Guiding families through all aspects of divorce in North Carolina

Attorneys at Raleigh Divorce Law Firm

Custody Attorneys Protecting Your Kids And Your Relationship With Them

Last updated on January 12, 2024

You have worked hard to raise your children to ensure they were safe from harm. Now, a child custody dispute or another family law issue that affects your custody or visitation rights could pose a threat to their well-being and your continued access to them. This is why it is important to have an experienced attorney on your side to protect your parent-child relationship.

In Raleigh and surrounding areas of North Carolina, you can find the skilled and knowledgeable legal representation you need at the Raleigh Divorce Law Firm. Our attorneys focus exclusively on family law matters, and we understand how important your children are to you.

We represent parents who are facing all types of issues that can affect their custody and visitation rights, including:

  • Divorces and separations
  • Modifications to custody and visitation schedules
  • Parental relocations
  • Paternity cases

Custody and visitation disputes can negatively affect your children. This is why we strive to minimize the impact of this process on their emotional and mental health. While negotiation and mediation may lead to an amicable split, we are also committed to the protection of your rights. Our extensive trial experience helps us provide you with the support and advocacy you may require in the courtroom.

Experienced Guidance For The Most Challenging Custody Matters

Our attorneys have experience representing parents with a wide variety of custody and visitation issues involving:

  • Alcohol and chemical dependency
  • Parental fitness and parental alienation
  • Parenting-time schedules, parenting agreements and modifications
  • Denied visitation
  • Court order violations
  • Child abuse and domestic violence
  • Restraining orders and supervised visitation
  • Third-party custody claims
  • Issues surrounding grandparents’ rights to custody and visitation
  • Emergency custody

Our lawyers have handled hundreds of divorce and family law matters involving all types of child custody issues. Attorney Heather W. Forshey has also gained invaluable experience serving as a guardian ad litem (GAL), parenting coordinator, certified mediator and child’s advocate.

Take Immediate Action In Child Custody Emergencies

When the health and safety of a child are at stake, there simply may not be enough time to follow the traditional channels for obtaining child custody. Our attorneys can help you file for an emergency child custody order. This is a complex process that requires showing that the child is in danger. Our experience means we know how to handle these matters. We can also utilize other tools when appropriate, including restraining orders or orders of protection.

Setting Reasonable Expectations For Child Custody

As mentioned above, it is easy and natural for parents to become defensive and emotionally heated when it comes to issues impacting their kids. You may be tempted to seek full custody of your kids, believing that they are much better off being with you and staying away from their other parent.

However, in most cases, such a position would be considered unreasonable and unlikely to succeed. Child custody agreements must be made in the best interests of children, and judges typically find that keeping both parents actively involved in their children’s lives serves those interests.

This is, of course, assuming that neither parent is abusive, negligent or otherwise a danger to the kids. If your co-parent does pose a threat, it may be appropriate to seek sole custody. However, you would need to have compelling evidence to support such a claim.

Negotiated Vs. Litigated Child Custody Agreements: Which Is Better?

Is it better to reach an agreement with your soon-to-be ex-spouse or to leave custody decisions up to a judge? In most cases, a negotiated agreement between parents (through mediation or otherwise in consultation with their respective attorneys) results in both a better outcome and makes the process easier for all involved.

Here’s why negotiated custody agreements are often preferable:

Stronger, more detailed agreements: You know your children and their needs. A judge does not. If you can negotiate an agreement with your co-parent, it is likely to be more detailed and better suited to your family’s unique circumstances.

More control over the outcome: When you negotiate custody, both you and your co-parent have more control over the final product. Litigation, by contrast, involves presenting your strongest argument for your desired outcome and ultimately leaving it up to a judge to decide whether they agree.

Less stress and conflict: Child custody disputes are often stressful or even traumatic for parents and children alike. Even when kids do not directly witness the process, they absorb the negative energy of their parents. By working toward a negotiated agreement, you could minimize that stress and conflict, which is beneficial for both parents and children alike.

To be sure, there are cases in which litigation is the best option or the only option. If the other party simply refuses to negotiate or there has been a history of domestic violence, for instance, our attorneys are prepared to aggressively represent your (and your children’s) interests in court. Short of circumstances like that, however, we are often happy to recommend mediation or other forms of alternative dispute resolution.

Discuss Your Legal Needs With An Experienced And Caring Custody Attorney

To speak with a child custody lawyer at Raleigh Divorce Law Firm, call 919-256-3970 or send us an email. We know how time-sensitive and difficult child custody and visitation issues can be. You will receive a prompt response.