Should You Settle Child Custody Before or After the Finality of Your Divorce Charlotte, NC


If you are facing a divorce and have children, things such as child custody and child support are not necessarily determined first before a court grants divorce in North Carolina. Indeed, in Charlotte, there are routes you can take when it comes to when custody is determined including other issues such as spousal and child support and property division. 

Requirements Before Getting a Divorce in North Carolina

Couples in North Carolina need to live separately and apart for a year. When you and your spouse are amicable and can do so with good intentions during this time, you can work on a marital settlement agreement. This agreement could include things such as child custody, child support, spousal support, and property division. With the approval of the court, your plan can be included in your divorce decree. However, if you are not speaking during the separation or has bitter feelings that debilitate your ability to get along and make decisions civilly, you may need to consider a trial. 

What the Court Will Do

If you and your spouse can’t agree on custody or support, you can ask the court to make these decisions for you. Often, this means a trial. Before the trial, you will have to attend some hearings during which your charlotte family law attorney, spouse, and the attorney of your spouse can negotiate. If negotiations fail, a trial will ensue. Evidence and witnesses are required to help determine all the issues you wish to be resolved before a divorce at trial. However, you can always get your divorce and simultaneously reserve your right to have the court hear such issues later. 

If you prefer to have these issues decided after your divorce is finalized, you should inform the judge about this at the time of your divorce hearing. You must request this, so these issues can be litigated. Just keep in mind that whatever your reason or holding off on these issues until you get a settlement agreement or court order, you and your spouse have co-equal rights, particularly when it comes to the custody of your children.

If you want to preserve your right to your children, you must ensure you have a custody agreement or order in place whether it is before or after your divorce. If you don’t’ have this agreement, your ex-spouse may act erratically and take possession of your children without your knowledge or approval. Contact an experienced family attorney in Charlotte immediately to have the best representation.