Durham, NC Custody Lawyers

Navigating the process of creating a custody arrangement can be extremely difficult for everyone involved. In addition to all the difficult decisions attached to the separation process, debt, asset, and property distribution, you now have to decide on a custody arrangement. Even if your divorce wasn’t contentious, emotions tend to run high when it comes to the future of your children. If you had a high-conflict divorce, it can feel impossible to fathom embracing a custody arrangement with your ex.

As challenging as separating from your spouse is, it’s just as challenging –  if not more so – for your children. Depending on the age of your children, they might struggle to understand the reasons for the emotional and physical divide between you and their other parent. It’s crucial that you tread lightly with custody matters so that you can lessen the impact of your separation on your child’s life. When you need help creating a custody arrangement, the Durham custody lawyers at Triangle Smart Divorce are ready to advocate diligently for you and your children’s future.

What Are The Different Types Of Custody?

While there are two main types of custody in North Carolina, it’s important to remember that every child is unique, so what works for one family, might not work for another. A good custody attorney will help you come up with a custody arrangement that’s tailored to you and your family’s specific needs.

Legal Custody

Legal custody relates to which parent will make the important decisions in your children’s life when it comes to matters like healthcare, education, religion, and more. One parent can have sole custody, or it can be shared. We usually see parents share this responsibility jointly, unless one parent has a history of domestic or substance abuse.

Physical Custody 

Physical custody relates to where the children physically live and spend their time. Like legal custody, one parent can have this responsibility solely, or it can be shared jointly.  Even when you have joint physical custody, it doesn’t mean the children will split their time 50/50.

There are several different combinations of custody that you can pick from to fit your family’s situation and meet the needs of your children. It’s important to remember that custody isn’t permanent, and it can be modified if necessary at any point in time.

Mediation is a process that we highly recommend to our custody clients, and in North Carolina, it’s actually a requirement. If you work matters out in private mediation, you can avoid the court’s mediation process. We like this option because it allows you and your co-parent to come together and make decisions based on what you know is best for your child rather than leaving it in the hands of a judge who doesn’t know your family. We also find it creates a more stable, civil environment for your child throughout the process, in addition to saving you time and money.

High-Conflict Custody

While our hope for you is that you can handle custody matters outside of court, we understand that isn’t always a realistic option. You may have an uncooperative ex who doesn’t want to work collaboratively with you for the sake of your child, or your former spouse might have a history of domestic violence, substance abuse, or another extenuating circumstance. If that is the case, we know how to protect you and your family, and we’ll equip you with the tools you need to put up boundaries and close this chapter of your life successfully.

How Triangle Smart Divorce Can Help You

If it’s time to part ways with your co-parent and you want to create a custody arrangement that favors your child’s well-being, the Durham custody lawyers at Triangle Smart Divorce are ready to help you. We’ll explain your options, legal rights and responsibilities, and answer any questions you have so that you can gain peace of mind during this time of transition. We make your goals our top priority, and we strive to use our experience and knowledge to get you through the legal process as quickly and efficiently as possible. Call today to request a consultation and learn how we can help pave the way towards a steady future for your children.


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"The entire staff at Triangle Smart Divorce has been wonderful. My divorce has been extremely complicated and difficult, they have helped and been successful at every turn. They are more than competent and are also very compassionate individuals. They will and do walk you through each and every step to obtain the best results for you. An amazing team!"


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Frequently Asked Questions


A divorce lawyer may seem like an extra expense if both parties agree on the big decisions, but the details of a divorce can be complex and hard to navigate without an expert, and getting the agreement properly written ensures that everyone has the security and clarity they need to move forward with their lives. It’s better to do it right the first time than have to keep going back and fixing mistakes. And, in some cases, you may not be able to fix your mistakes.


You should ask a potential divorce lawyer about their prior experience with cases like yours, their approach to negotiations when couples reach a disagreement, and their personal success rate in arriving at a resolution through negotiation and/or mediation.


You cannot have one lawyer serve both parties in a divorce. This would be a conflict of interest. It’s incredibly important that each party feels their individual needs are represented and voiced, and that cannot be done with a single lawyer serving as the representative for both parties.

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