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Child custody: Considering other family relationships

You and your soon-to-be ex-spouse are probably not the only ones who have a loving relationship with your child. Your child may have formed strong bonds with other siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, family friends, teachers, coaches and other individuals. North Carolina courts will consider these relationships when deciding a child custody matter; as such, so should you.

In most cases, North Carolina parents maintain the same child custody arrangements, parenting plans and visitation schedules for all of their children. For example, if you and your ex-spouse have two children, both of those children will stay with each other when living with or visiting the other spouse. However, there may exist some situations in which one parent has full custody of one child, and the other parent has full custody of the other child.

Regardless your child custody arrangements, your parenting plan should consider all of the most relationships that your child has formed -- particularly relationships with siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles. Your parenting plan should make room to ensure that your children can spend time with other siblings and other family members. Parents should also encourage strong ties between their children and other family members.

North Carolina parents will face a lot of challenges as they transition their families into separate homes and separate living arrangements. Having a solid parenting plan in place as early as possible is essential to ensure that your children feel secure, stable and confident in their family relationships. Fortunately, a skilled child custody and family law attorney can assist you in creating such a parenting plan for your children.