Articles Posted in Children

Published on:

Court orders cannot typically require nonparties to act. When a court issues an order, the requirements of the order involve only the plaintiff and defendant or the petitioner and respondent. People who are not named in the case cannot generally be ordered to do anything.

If the court determines that someone not named in the case is a necessary party, they may be able to join that person to the case and order them to do or not do something. Stepparents are often central figures in their stepchildren’s lives, making cases like child support more complex. Continue reading →

Published on:

In civil cases, such as child custody proceedings, either party can serve discovery requests on the other party. Discovery is the term used to describe the process of exchanging documents and information. It can include various methods, including interrogatories, requests for production of documents, requests for admission, and depositions.

Parties in child custody cases can use discovery to obtain information relevant to the case, but there are limitations.

Continue reading →

Published on:

Custody decisions are largely based on the best interests of the children. This may sound like a simple decision-making process, but the variables involved are complex. Courts must consider the child’s physical and mental health, physical safety, and developmental needs. Moral standards are also relevant when deciding custody.

It is well-known that parental conflict can significantly impact a child’s mental health, as well as their physical safety in some scenarios, but how does such conflict impact changes to child custody in North Carolina? Continue reading →

Published on:

There have been many cases in North Carolina that establish the strength and importance of a parent’s constitutionally protected right to the care and control of their children. Another recent decision in the North Carolina Court of Appeals has further established this right for biological parents, showing that it is not easy for nonparents to be awarded custody.

Continue reading →

Published on:

Parents have a constitutionally protected right to take care of their children, which includes making decisions about whom their children will spend time with. It is difficult to overcome this parental presumption. Grandparents who wish to seek visitation with their grandchildren should be aware that there are strict rules in North Carolina about when they can file and on what factors a decision will be based.

Evans v. Myers

In a recent North Carolina Court of Appeals case, Evans v. Myers, Mother appealed after the trial court granted Paternal Grandparents legal and physical custody of her child while only awarding her limited visitation.

Published on:

Grandparents can only file for visitation during an ongoing custody dispute between the parents or if they can prove the parents are unfit. What happens if the parents’ custody case is resolved before the court has a chance to decide on grandparent visitation? This was the question at the center of a recent North Carolina Court of Appeals case.

Continue reading →

Published on:

There must be a substantial change of circumstances in order to request a modification to a child custody order in North Carolina. Additionally, that change must affect the child or children’s welfare. Conflict between parents certainly does impact a child, but does it satisfy this requirement if this conflict has existed between the parents for a while? Continue reading →

Published on:

Modifying court-ordered custody arrangements in North Carolina requires a substantial change in circumstances and an impact on the child caused by those circumstances. What evidence must parents or guardians provide when showing a change has occurred? It depends completely on the specifics of each case, but one requirement is that the evidence must not be based on anything of which the court is already aware. Continue reading →

Published on:

North Carolina and almost every other state uses the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) to determine jurisdiction. The UCCJEA uses four elements to determine jurisdiction in initial custody cases:

  • Home state
  • Significant connection
Published on:

Grandparents are inarguably a vital part of a child’s life, but the decision to include them is ultimately up to the parents. It can be devastating for grandparents when contact with their grandchild has been restricted. What are your options as a grandparent for seeking court-ordered visitation in North Carolina?

When Can You File for Visitation as a Grandparent?

North Carolina allows grandparents to file for visitation only in certain circumstances. The state allows grandparents to file for visitation only if the child’s family is not intact, which may include the following scenarios: