Child Custody Laws

Durham Lawyer: Child Custody

As parents divorce they must work out a plan that outlines their children’s care. Custody and visitation schedules must be worked out to benefit both child and parent. Sometimes, parents can’t agree on custody arrangements. At that point, it’s might be a good idea to hire a Durham lawyer.

A Durham lawyer can help negotiate visitation and custody. Lawyers can talk with the judge and parties involved in the divorce to get a better understand of what might need to happen with the case.

Oftentimes, either parent may need to petition the court for custody of the children involved.   Parents must petition for custody to the court that is overseeing their divorce. When parents are unmarried,  the hearing will take place in a juvenile court in the county and state where the children reside.

There are different types of custody and visitation. If you think you might need guidance in your custody battle, be sure to contact Durham lawyer, Kevin Jones. Our law office will do what we can to help you, every step of the way.

Types of Custody and Visitation

According to, “Once a parent has petitioned for custody, the court will award either joint custody, which gives custody to both parents, or sole custody, which gives the primary care of the children or decision-making to just one parent, the custodial parent.”

Durham Child Custody Lawyer Explains: Two types of custody

  • Physical-  the actual physical care of the child, including day to day supervision and habitation.
  • Legal-  involves decision-making rights, such as regarding the child’s education, health, and welfare.

When one parent is given primary custody, the other parent gets visitation rights. They still get time with their children.  In most states, joint custody is preferred, unless it would be detrimental to the child.

Custody Arrangements and Exchanges

Parents may work out any number of arrangements that work for custody and visitation. The arrangements could include:

  • such as having their children alternating weeks
  • weekends
  • split weeks
  • summers
  • split holidays
  • holidays alternating by odd and even years.

Parents may also arrange a custody or visitation exchange, which involves the time, place, and manner in which the parents give their children over to each other.  This exchange can be before or after school, on weekends, at one parent’s house, or at a daycare facility. The possibilities are endless. In cases where there is animosity between the parents or previous domestic violence, the court can consider an exchange plan where neither parent sees the other.

Modifications and “Moveaways”

Once a parenting plan is approved and issued as an order by the court, it cannot be changed unless a party requests a modification and supports their motion with evidence of material changed circumstances.  Even parents who wish to move to another state or county must petition the court to reevaluate custody and visitation before they can take their children with them.

Child Custody & Third Party Rights

Also according to, “In some states, the courts may also consider the interests of third parties, such as siblings or grandparents, in having custody or visitation of a child.  If the child has been abandoned by its parents, another adult may petition the court for custody.  If siblings, grandparents or other interest parties desire visitation, they must also petition the court, which may award visitation rights if the court deems it to be in the child’s best interests.”

For more information on Durham lawyer contact our law office or visit our contact page on our website.