Obtaining custody of a sibling

If both biological parents of a North Carolina child die, or if they are not fit to care for the child for some reason, an older sibling might want to get custody. In order to do this, the sibling must be at least 18 and legally emancipated.

If the parents are deceased and the sibling has been named in their wills as the child’s legal guardian, the process may be less difficult. In some cases, biological parents might also agree to relinquish custody. However, if neither of these is the case, the situation becomes more complicated. A judge will be reluctant to remove a child from the biological parents. The sibling will need to provide proof that child is in danger of harm.

Even if this occurs, the sibling must demonstrate the ability to support the child and provide a stable environment. If the child has already been removed from the home and placed in the foster system, the sibling might have a better chance of getting custody. Usually, the preference is for the child to be placed with a relative instead of with strangers. A sibling who is unable to get custody may apply for visitation rights.

Child custody can be a difficult issue. Emotions are high, and the parties fighting for custody may all believe they are acting in the best interests of the child. This is the standard a judge uses in order to make a custody decision. Factors a judge may consider when deciding who will get primary custody of a child may include the strength of the child’s relationship with the person seeking custody, how much disruption the child will undergo in moving to a new environment, and how well the child will be able to maintain relationships with other family members.

Children creating parenting schedules

Creating a parenting schedule is an integral part of the child custody process for Charlotte residents who are not with their child’s other parent. It’s about showing the child a willingness to work together as much as it’s about dividing the responsibilities of child custody. When it comes to developing a parenting plan, it’s important to keep the child’s perspective in mind, consider logistics, account for the child’s schedule and possibly involve the child in the process.

Child custody arrangements can be hard on the child. He or she has not only to adjust to living with the parents separately but also to traveling back and forth between residences. Parents should imagine the child’s perspective and the impacts different parenting schedules may have on his or her day-to-day life. Logistically, parents should consider transportation options, including school buses, to and from each residence and the availability of child-care options.

For many children, school and activities are the most significant day-to-day events. It’s crucial for parents creating a parenting schedule to note the different activities their children may take part in, when they occur and whether or not they are seasonal. It may not be necessary or practical to include a very young child in the process of scheduling, but those who are old enough to voice their preferences can be involved, even if their ideas are ultimately overruled by the parents. Asking about their preferences for certain days of the week is not the same as asking for them to choose their favorite parent.

People in Charlotte who are trying to decide child custody issues might want to speak with an attorney. An attorney with experience in family law may be able to help by negotiating terms with the other parent or by drafting a parenting schedule that fits the needs and goals of the parties. An attorney may also argue on the client’s behalf during family court or other official proceedings.

Parenthood central to dads’ lives

For Charlotte fathers, parenthood is becoming increasingly central to their personal identity and sense of self. The concept of fatherhood in the United States has gone through strong shifts in the past several decades, with a turn toward highly active involvement in care and child-rearing.

A survey conducted in 2015 by the Pew Research Center highlighted how important fatherhood is to their self-image. Approximately equal numbers of fathers and mothers highlighted parenthood as essential to their self-definition. An even higher percentage of fathers indicated that parenting is always rewarding.

Since 1965, the amount of time fathers spend weekly on child care has almost tripled. Fathers’ time spent on housework inside the home has also grown in that time. However, many fathers still struggle with work-life balance and seek more time with their children.

Most American couples are now dual-income families, sharing the tasks of bringing in money for the family as well as housework and child care. About half of the fathers who work note that it is quite difficult to balance family life and work. While work is also important to fathers’ personal identity, many also expressed their wish for more time with their children without rushing or stress.

Most adults also expressed how important it is for babies to form a deep bond with both their mothers and their fathers. This form of thinking is also increasingly reflected in child custody cases. Many divorce courts now have a preference for some form of shared parenting. A father who pursues physical custody has a good chance of achieving a resolution that recognizes the importance of his involvement in helping to raise his children. A family law attorney can often assist in this regard.

Misunderstood Terms in Criminal Law



Commonly Misunderstood Terms in North Carolina Criminal Law

In the court of public opinion, there are only two kinds of crime, namely violent crime and nonviolent crime, and violent crime is always bad. Even as public support increases for pretrial diversion programs and other ways of reducing mass incarceration, a lot of people will qualify their statements with “only for nonviolent offenses.” Therefore, if you are being accused of assault, domestic violence, or any other crime related to physical violence, you might feel like you have no one on your side. In fact, all defendants in criminal cases, no matter the seriousness of the crime of which they are accused, have legal rights, including the right to representation by a lawyer. If you are facing charges for a violent crime, contact a Charlotte criminal defense attorney.

Assault and Battery are Not Interchangeable

There are a lot of things that most people do not understand about criminal law until they get charged with a crime, including the differences between some closely related offenses. There are many incidents in which a defendant gets charged with assault and also with battery, but the terms “assault” and “battery” are not the same. Assault is any action that causes the victim to feel a reasonable fear of imminent physical harm, such as brandishing your fist in front of the victim’s face. You can be convicted of assault even if you do not make physical contact with the victim. Battery is any hostile touching of another person, such as punching or slapping, whether it causes a visible injury or not.

Murder, Manslaughter, and Homicide

According to North Carolina law, murder and homicide are the same. These terms mean that the defendant intentionally killed the victim; the degrees of homicide depend on how premeditated the killing was. Manslaughter is when the victim died as a result of the defendant’s actions, but the defendant did not intend to kill the victim. It is voluntary manslaughter if the defendant intended to injure the victim but did not think that the victim would die, such as if the defendant and the victim got into a fistfight and the victim died of their injuries. Involuntary manslaughter is if the defendant caused an accident in which the victim suffered fatal injuries.


Not All Violent Crimes are Felonies

Another common misconception about violent crimes is that they are all felonies. In fact, it is possible to get misdemeanor charges for assault or battery if the victim does not sustain serious injuries. The chances that the prosecutors will treat your assault or battery charges as misdemeanors are greater if the victim was not seriously injured and if there were no weapons involved.

Another common misconception about violent crimes is that they are all felonies. In fact, it is possible to get misdemeanor charges for assault or battery if the victim does not sustain serious injuries. The chances that the prosecutors will treat your assault or battery charges as misdemeanors are greater if the victim was not seriously injured and if there were no weapons involved.

Child Custody & Living Arrangements


When a North Carolina parent is preparing to seek child custody, they should be aware of how their living arrangements could affect the outcome of their hearing. In fact, courts often base decisions about child custody and visitation at least in part on the parent’s living circumstances. While standards may vary as to what is acceptable, there are certain factors to keep in mind when preparing for a custody hearing.

For example, the child’s age and gender can affect how a judge may view certain types of living arrangements. Opposite-sex children are likely to need a greater level of privacy, including private space for dressing or a separate bedroom. Older children also need more privacy and space than younger children, and they may need space from one another. While same-sex, close-in-age siblings might be expected to share rooms, a judge may look less favorably on an older teen boy and a preteen girl sharing a bedroom. Of course, finances are a major factor here, and parents don’t have to be wealthy to have overnight visitation time with their children.

The number of kids involved may also be considered, including children from other relationships. A family court judge will take into account the sleeping arrangements for all of the children in the family. Safety can also be a consideration, from the safety of the surrounding neighborhood to the presence of unrelated people. If a parent is living with roommates, judges may want more information to determine whether they are safe people to share private space with the children.

When preparing for a child custody hearing, a parent can improve their chances for a positive outcome by presenting their case clearly and effectively. A family law attorney could help a parent present solid evidence and strong arguments.

contact information

plumides, romano & Johnson, pc

PHONE: 704-333-9900

FAX:   704-358-0536