Child Custody and Support

Whether you are seeking sole custody, joint custody or fair visitations, Bagwell Holt Smith P.A. has the ability to aggressively represent your legal rights as a parent while striving to minimize the adverse effects these battles can have on your family. We understand that the courts will seek to do what is in the best interest of your child, but the application of that standard can vary from county to county. Working with our experienced team of attorneys, we will develop effective strategies to accomplish your goals and present your side of the story.

In most cases, you can use the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines to calculate child support obligations. We can assist with this calculation and provide additional support in cases involving self-employment or unreported income. Further, we can implement enforcement mechanisms, including wage garnishment where appropriate, to enforce child support obligations. Additionally, we have experience negotiating child support modifications as circumstances change.

During a divorce where children are involved, it is important to understand your rights and responsibilities as a parent. We can help answer these questions and more:

Child Custody and Visitation

  • How is physical custody of children typically divided between parents?
  • Do third parties, e.g. grandparents and relatives, have custody rights?
  • Are the custody rights of same-sex parents the same as opposite-sex parents?
  • Is the Court typically likely to award sole or joint physical custody?
  • How is legal custody, i.e. decision-making power by parents over the children’s affairs, typically divided?
  • At what age are children not subject to custody agreements and orders?
  • Can these custody issues be settled by agreement instead of filing a law suit?
  • Is obtaining a temporary custody order appropriate?
  • Can an agreement or court order be modified at a later time?
  • Do minor children typically testify at a court hearing?
  • Does the State of North Carolina have jurisdiction in my custody matter?
  • In which county is venue of a court hearing most appropriate?
  • Is there a maternal preference in law or in practice?
  • Is mediation required?
  • Will a Guardian ad Litem be appointed by the court?
  • What is the impact of the other parent not hiring legal representation?

Child Support

  • Who owes a child support obligation?
  • What are the criteria used to calculate a child support obligation?
  • At what point does the amount of custody impact a child support obligation?
  • Is adhering to the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines required?
  • In what circumstances can a Court or the parties deviate from the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines?
  • Aside from employment income, what other forms of income are relevant to a child support calculation?
  • Should child support be based on a parent’s actual or potential income?
  • How long does an obligation to pay child support typically last?
  • How are health insurance, daycare and extraordinary expenses accounted for in a child support obligation?
  • Can a child support obligation be modified?
  • What remedies are available against a parent who is not current with a child support obligation?
  • Will the Court order a party’s attorney’s fees to be paid by the other party?

Contact us today and we will fight to ensure you maintain a strong relationship with your children.