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What to do in a child custody hearing

Parents in North Carolina who are going through a divorce might want to consider whether they can compromise on joint custody instead of each of them fighting for full custody. However, if they cannot agree, then the decision might be made by a judge following a custody hearing. If this happens, the parent should prepare for the hearing by researching custody law.

The judge will make a child custody ruling after determining what is in the child's best interests. A number of elements might influence this, and a parent should be willing to compromise with the other parent. They should also dress neatly and behave appropriately during the custody hearing. A parent can bring documentation that helps their case.

Once the court has made a decision, the other parent should make an effort to remain in their child's life. It is believed that children benefit from time with both parents, and the parent may be granted a good amount of visitation time. Parents might also want to create a parenting agreement.

The parent who does not get custody may be required to pay child support to the custodial parent as well. This is usually determined based on income along with other factors, such as how much the parent pays for the child's healthcare. Parents might want to talk about other expenses as well in order to include an agreement in the parenting plan about which parent will pay for tutoring or extracurricular activities. If a parent needs a modification in custody or support, they may wish to seek the assistance of an attorney as a judge will generally expect a good reason for making changes to either of these. For example, there might be a change in custody if one parent has a significant change in lifestyle that means they can no longer care for the child.

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