Child Custody

Fayetteville Child Custody Attorney

Experienced Child Custody Lawyers Serving cumberland county, nc

Money and property are large concerns in a divorce. However, one of the most consequential legal issues in a divorce is child custody disputes, as the custody decision is what will affect the child’s life and future with the parents. 

This is why child custody proceedings are often contentious. Concerned parents realize that the terms for custody will shape their relationship with their children, so it is important to obtain professional legal help in establishing parenting guidelines and living arrangements that meet your needs.

At Hardin Law Firm, our Fayetteville child custody attorneys understand that your primary focus is your child’s well-being. For over a decade, our legal team has addressed critical family law issues for Cumberland County and Moore County parents with skill and compassion. Our founding attorney, Victoria Hardin, represents families and military parents in North Carolina courthouses and in the negotiations room. Attorney Hardin knows how to navigate custody proceedings efficiently so that you can minimize the impact on your children and put forward a strong case for a custody arrangement favorable to you.

Schedule an initial consultation with Hardin Law Firm or give us a call today to learn more about how our Fayetteville child custody attorneys can help. Serving parents in Fort Bragg, Cumberland, and Moore Counties.

How Our Fayetteville child custody lawyers can help

Having an experienced custody attorney on your case can prove advantageous in helping you make an informed decision about your and your child’s future. Attorney Hardin draws on her expansive professional background when she counsels concerned parents in custody matters. 

Additionally, before entering the legal field, Attorney Hardin actually worked as an elementary school teacher, so she understands the personal and emotional sides of child custody disputes affecting the child as well as the legal. She will use her teaching and legal experience to protect your parenting rights as she helps:

  • Create parenting plans for civilian and military parents
  • Negotiates terms for physical and legal custody
  • Addresses custody disputes in court
  • Petitions for emergency custody modifications for matters relating to substance abuse or domestic abuse
  • Petitions for long-term custody modifications
  • Files post-judgment actions to enforce a custody order
  • Advocates for grandparents’ visitation or custody rights

Attorney Hardin also brings extensive high-conflict litigation experience and can guide your case seamlessly through the court proceedings. 

How Is Child Custody Decided in North Carolina?

The main consideration of the court when deciding on child custody is the best interests and welfare of the child. Generally, this means the judge will look at factors impacting the child’s best interests like:

  • each parent's relationship with the child;
  • each parent's ability to provide the child with stability;
  • the child’s ties to any siblings and extended family members;
  • the child's ties to home, school, and community;
  • each parent's willingness to foster a relationship between the child and the other parent;
  • each parent's physical and emotional health;
  • the child's relationship with each parent;
  • the child's preference, if they are of mature age;
  • whether the child has any special needs;
  • whether either parent has a history of domestic violence or abuse; and
  • any other relevant factor.

Both mothers and fathers have the same right to custody, and the court will not express a preference for one over the other without consulting the above factors. 

To speak with our experienced Fayetteville child custody attorney, contact us online or give us a call at (910) 565-6505 today.

How to win sole custody in nc

Winning sole custody in North Carolina is a significant legal challenge, as the courts prioritize the best interests of the child in custody decisions. To increase your chances of obtaining sole custody, you should take the following steps:

  • Demonstrating a Positive Parent-Child Relationship: Show the court that you have a strong and positive relationship with your child. Provide evidence of your involvement in their life, such as records of attending school events, medical appointments, and extracurricular activities.
  • Stability and Safe Environment: Prove that your home provides a stable and safe environment for your child. Ensure that your living conditions are suitable for raising a child and that you can meet their physical and emotional needs.
  • Co-Parenting Efforts: Demonstrate your willingness to co-parent and encourage a healthy relationship between your child and the other parent, even if you seek sole custody. Avoid undermining the other parent and focus on promoting the child's well-being.
  • Parenting Plan: Develop a comprehensive and detailed parenting plan that outlines how you will meet your child's needs, including education, healthcare, and visitation with the other parent.
  • Legal Representation: Hire an experienced family law attorney who can guide you through the legal process, ensure all necessary documentation is prepared, and present a compelling case in court.
  • Evidence of Unfitness: If the other parent poses a risk to the child's well-being due to abuse, neglect, substance abuse, or any other factor that could endanger the child, provide evidence to support your claims.

Remember, the court's primary concern is the best interests of the child. Focus on providing a stable and loving environment and work with a skilled attorney who can effectively present your case to increase your chances of obtaining sole custody in North Carolina.

Parenting Time Options in NC

North Carolina offers legal custody (decision-making authority) and physical custody (who the child will reside with), which may be awarded solely to one parent or shared between both parents based on the child’s best interests. A parent who does not have primary physical custody of the child may be entitled to court-ordered visitation, or “parenting time,” the minimum schedule of which is one weeknight per week and every other weekend.  

In special cases, such as if the non-custodial parent has a history of domestic abuse or substance abuse that might pose a danger to the child, the court may order supervised visitation in the presence of a third party or even no visitation.

Modifying Child Custody in NC

Any parent who seeks to change an existing custody order may request a modification with the court at any time. However, to obtain a modification, they must show that there has been a substantial and material change in circumstances affecting the best interests and welfare of the child. For example, if the parent must undergo cancer treatment or has taken a new job opportunity in another city, the parent may have grounds for modification.

Child custody can affect a range of divorce issues beyond who the child will live with. The child support award may take into account the custody arrangement, for example, as the parent who pays support is typically the non-custodial parent (provided they have the financial means to do so). As a result, child custody is a critical family law issue that you should consult an experienced attorney about to ensure you emerge with the most favorable outcome.

Our legal team at Hardin Law Firm has the skillset you require to get the custody terms you and your child desire. With stakes as high as your parent-child relationship, now is not the time to leave legal matters to chance. Let an experienced and committed child custody attorney handle your case. 

Contact Hardin Law Firm here or give us a call today for prompt and seasoned counsel.

Hear From Our Clients.

  • “Ms. Hardin is the best attorney in Fayetteville and the surrounding area. She knows exactly what it takes to win your case.”

  • “If I could give 10 stars, I would. Ms. Hardin and her staff are the gold standard of professionalism.”

  • “I trusted all her advice and am very pleased with the results. Anyone looking for a good custody lawyer, she’s the one to go to!”

  • “Victoria Hardin is a fantastic attorney that genuinely cares about her clients.”

  • “Victoria and her firm exceeded my expectations. If you need a divorce, family law, custody or child support attorney, this is the firm you want. I cannot give enough stars, 5 isn’t enough.”


  • What Criteria Do Judges Use When They Determine Custody?

    North Carolina judges are guided by the “best interest of the child” standard when they assign parental responsibilities. Many factors determine whether a custody agreement supports children affected by divorce and eases the transition to life after divorce. Judges often consider the status quo of the child. Judges may take these points, among others, into consideration:

    1. Does the agreement encourage stability in the child’s life?
    2. Will the agreement promote the child’s physical, emotional, mental and educational needs?
    3. Does the custodial parent have a history of substance abuse or domestic violence?
    4. Will the custody agreement foster a network of support for the child?
  • Do Judges Favor Mothers Over Fathers in Custody Hearings?

    No. The courts believe both parents should be a part of their child’s life. The courts study each family’s circumstances before ruling on custody arrangements. In certain situations, such as with military families, a service member’s military obligations may affect his or her ability to care for a child. If deployment is a possibility, judges will take that into account.

    At Hardin Law Firm PLLC, we can help you understand your parenting rights so you know what is possible and what is realistic in terms of custody and visitation.

  • I Am Concerned That My Child’s Divorce Will Affect My Relationship With My Grandchildren. What Visitation Rights Do Grandparents

    Grandparents should not be left out of the picture in the wake of a divorce. If you are a grandparent with concerns about your role in your grandchild’s life, we can help you explore your options.

  • Does Shared Custody Affect Child Support?

    Yes, it can. For the most part, two worksheets for calculating child support are used: worksheet A — sole custody and worksheet B — shared custody. If you have custody for your child for 123 or more overnights in year, you will use worksheet B, which will result in lower child support payments than worksheet A.

  • Do I Have to Go Through Mediation?

    North Carolina laws require parents to participate in mediation before they can litigate permanent child custody matters. You will meet with a third-party mediator who is not a lawyer.

    You should have an attorney review your custody agreement before you sign it. Retaining an attorney to spot problematic conditions in your custody arrangement can save you time and money down the road.

  • If My Ex and I Have Agreed to Change the Terms of the Custody Arrangement, Do We Really Need to Get a Court-Ordered Modification

    Yes. While you and your former spouse may agree to adapt your parenting duties to suit a new schedule, any agreement you make is not enforceable. If your spouse decides to ignore these revisions, the court order is still binding.

  • I Am Worried That My Children Are Not Safe Under My Ex’s Custody. What Can I Do to Protect Them?

    If you believe that your former spouse has a substance abuse problem, is abusing your children or is engaging in other activities that may harm your children, you can file a petition for an emergency custody modification. Depending on the circumstances, law enforcement and/or the Department of Social Services should also be contacted.

  • What Life Changes Justify a Modification?

    North Carolina courts allow parents to petition to change or enforce existing custody orders. When life-changing circumstances arise, the terms of a custody order can be modified to serve the best interests of the child. These circumstances may include a decline in the parent-child relationship, a change in a parent’s work schedule, a relocation or unsafe living conditions.

  • Can I Relocate With My Children?

    Relocation can be difficult. If your ex objects to the relocation, you will have to prove to a judge that this move is in the best interests of the child. Judges have a great deal of discretion in child custody matters, and no one can guarantee that your judge will allow you to move. Hiring a lawyer who is familiar with the previous rulings of area judges can help you establish an argument that supports their interpretation of North Carolina’s relocation guidelines.

Giving Your Case The Attention It Deserves

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