Child Custody


#1

Dear skippy16:

Greetings. When you say that you have joint custody, how often are you spending custodial time with your child?

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Divorce
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

10925 David Taylor Drive, Suite 100
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax

ROSENDIVORCE.COM

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.


#2

Sorry I was not clear. We are still together adn are talking about separation very soon. She is aready shopping for an apartment in San Diego. Is there anything that I can do to keep her from taking my child to CA? I travel extensively for my job so full custody is not practical unless I change jobs.
Thanks


#3

Dear skippy16:

Greetings. There may be something that you can do, but it will need the assistance of an attorney. My advice is that you retain one right away and have them help you ensure the child remains here. Thank you.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Divorce
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

10925 David Taylor Drive, Suite 100
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax

ROSENDIVORCE.COM

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.


#4

The nationwide trend is for the courts to allow the custodial parent to relocate the children wherever they want. Courts hearing domestic issues - including those here in North Carolina - have the power to stop such moves, but they rarely do. The basis of this failure to act is the “presumption” that the custodial parent always acts in the best interest of the child; e.g. “It is presumed that fit parents act in the best interest of their children.” (Moore v. Moore, 2003 NC COA case).

Bolstering this legal presumption is the position of many social scientists that, expressed in general terms, “what’s good for the custodial parent is good for the child.” Rather than the burden being on your wife to show how the proposed relocation of your daughter is in your daughter’s best interest, you will be required to conclusively demonstrate that the move is not in her best interest. Are these rules proper? To my mind, they’re absurd and do a great disservice to the child. If you go to court, you’ll be allowed to say your piece. The judge might even appear concerned and ask a few on-point questions. But, when all is said and done, the odds are overwhelming that your wife will be allowed to take your daughter to San Diego with her.

Your relationship with your daughter will likely suffer as a result of her relocation. This is of secondary concern to the court. In theory, anyway, your daughter’s “best interest” is the main factor in the court’s decision. Your wife’s right to travel and live where she wants are next in importance. Somewhere way down on the list is your right to a meaningful relationship with your daughter in which you are able to fully discharge your parental duties and in which your daughter is able to benefit from your love, experience, and support. And I’m not speaking of only child support, either.

Sorry to be so pessimistic, but I’ve been in your situation and I speak from first-hand experience. The courts in this state view a non-custodial parent’s primary role as providing child support and little else. Sufficient visitation with your daughter, input into her daily life, and your ability to mentor and parent her are mere afterthoughts. Yes, I know what the statutes say. Yes, I’m familiar with the case law. The problem is that there’s a big disconnect between the lofty ideals ostensibly governing domestic disputes and the implementation of those ideals in the form of a court order. My advice is to do the best you can with the adverse situation that has been thrust upon you. Make sure your daughter knows you care deeply about her and wish she weren’t so far away. As she gets older, she’ll hopefully realize that you weren’t responsible for the distance between you.


#5

Hello,
We live in NC and my wife is from CA. She says that when we divorce that she will move back to San Diego with our daughter. If we have joint custody can she do that? I would only she the child a couple times a year at the most.
Thanks in advance!