Divorce Custody and Family Law Lawyers in Wilmington NC on Temporary and Permanent Child Custody
Immediately following a separation, the parents may go to court seeking a Temporary Custody Order. Temporary Custody Orders are usually based on brief or condensed court hearings with specific rules providing limitations on the evidence that is presented to the court. Usually, only the parents testify. Other evidence is received by the court in the form of sworn affidavits from witnesses. The judge will issue an order that establishes a schedule of child custody. The order will set out which parent has the child(ren) at what times. It may contain other important determinations, as well.
Later, the court may conduct Permanent Custody Hearings. Permanent Custody Hearings are longer, and usually more involved. Parents, witnesses and experts are permitted to testify. The judge will issue a “permanent” custody order following the hearing. Even though the resulting order is referred to as “permanent,” it is important to know that a party can always return to the court seeking a modification of custody.
However, these hearings and orders are very important. Later, if one party seeks to change the permanent custody order, he or she is held to a different standard in a modification hearing than they had at the initial custody determination. In addition, the temporary and permanent custody order will establish a pattern of parental contact and involvement that judges can be resistant to break.
You can speak with a knowledgeable divorce and family law attorney who can explain and advise the legal standards of proof based on your specific situation in New Hanover County, Pender County, Brunswick County, Wilmington, Hampstead, Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, or Hampstead today.