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What is Joint Legal Custody?

In Child Custody, Parenting by Sarah Hink

Child custody issues comprise some of the most emotional and bitterly contested battles that our family law firm sees. The reason is obvious for anyone with kids: nothing in the world matters more than their safety, stability, and happiness. Physical Custody versus Legal Custody There are essentially two types of custody recognized by North Carolina family courts: legal and physical custody. Physical custody is what most people envision when they think of custody. It can be described as whom the child lives with, where the child lives, and when the child sees each parent. In contrast, legal custody encompasses the rights and duties of parents in making major parenting decisions regarding a child. These decisions include a child’s education, health and medical decisions, activities, and religious upbringing. Beyond the types …

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When Your Child’s New Stepparent Holds Conflicting Parenting Values

In Child Custody, Parenting, Relationships by Elizabeth Stephenson

A reality of separation and divorce is that you and your ex may one day enter into new relationships and get remarried. This may happen for either of you sooner than you think. Further, the new relationships take on additional weight if there are children involved, who now have a new stepparent. Sometimes, this new person fits right into their new role and is on the same wavelength in their parenting values. This is an absolutely wonderful outcome for a child. However, it is just as likely that you and the new stepparent will not see eye-to-eye on critical issues, such as disciplining the children, their education, and their moral upbringing. Few things upset us more than disputes over our children, and it is okay to feel upset; nevertheless, we …

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Parenting after Divorce

In Child Custody, Separation & Divorce by Whitney Wall

Divorce creates many obstacles that can leave both parties feeling defeated. For those with children, none may feel more trying (or important) than the challenges that come with co-parenting. Before making any co-parenting decisions, it is important to prepare for opposing opinions. Most likely, the same differences that stressed your marriage will manifest as you work to establish a parenting plan post divorce. Unless your child’s immediate safety is a concern, part of the process is accepting that these differences/challenges will exist. Once we accept the challenges, we are in a better position to act on what we can control (and understand that some things may be out of our control). The next time you hit a co-parenting roadblock, try one or more of the below suggestions designed to help …

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Giving Thanks Amidst Divorced

In Separation & Divorce by Sarah Hink

Like many, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. It is a day out of the hustle and bustle of normal fast-paced life to be with family and give thanks for everything you have, and in some cases, give thanks to what has come to an end – like an unhealthy marriage. However, even if you are happy to be divorced or recently separated this year, Thanksgiving and other holidays may still be a difficult and emotionally challenging time. Traditions that were made as a family are tender reminders of what once was, and for those with children, an even more challenging time. If you are dealing with divorce or separation, here are a few ways that can help you stay thankful and enjoy this year’s Thanksgiving. Start Anew …

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All Treats, No Tricks: Tips for Co-Parenting this Halloween

In Child Custody by Sarah Hink

Halloween after divorce does not have to be scary, even if you are sharing custody of the children with your ex.  Sometimes your separation agreement or custody order may speak to how you are to split the fall holiday, either with the non-custodial parent getting a few hours that day or by alternating the holiday annually. However, many times Halloween is not addressed alongside the major holidays in ordinary custody arrangements, or perhaps you do not yet have a formalized custody agreement. Regardless, Halloween can still be happy and fun for both parents and child, and should be! Here are a few tips to help make co-parenting on Halloween a treat for everyone: Actively communicate As always, everyone’s case is different, but, if it is possible, both parents should be …

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How does separation or divorce affect a child with asthma or other chronic illness?

In Child Custody by Elizabeth Stephenson

May is National Asthma Awareness Month. Asthma is a chronic lung disease in which the airways become inflamed and narrowed. Breathing becomes extremely difficult, and there will be periods of shortness of breath, wheezing, chest tightness, and coughing. An asthma attack occurs when the symptoms become severe. Asthma attacks are dangerous and require immediate emergency care. They can be fatal. Over 6 million children have asthma. There is no cure for asthma, but the disease can be managed with proper treatment and medication. Most people with the disease can live normal, active lives. If your child has asthma, you will want to learn everything you can about the disease. Share that information with family and friends. Even if your child doesn’t have asthma, it would be wise to learn about …