Child Custody with No Order

Written by: Kaitlin Romanelli Myers

A custody order or parenting agreement lays out how custody is handled, including whether a parent has sole or joint custody, and the physical custody schedule of the child, and holiday schedules.

Without a child custody order, either parent can lawfully take physical custody of the child at any time. This can pose serious problems when the parents do not agree on a custody schedule. Custody orders provide a guide for parents to deal with a variety of issues as it relates to co-parenting the child.

A custody order can be established in a variety of ways:

    1. Mutual agreement without legal assistance;
    2. Mediation;
    3. Collaborative law;
    4. Filing a custody action in court, which still provides the opportunity to mediation and negotiations, with the assistance of an attorney, or if these methods are unsuccessful with the ruling of a judge.

There are many benefits to having a custody order. Custody orders serve to:

    • Protect the rights of the parent(s) caring for the child;
    • Sets out a specific physical custody and holiday schedule;
    • Determines where the child will go to school if the parents do not live in the same school district;
    • Allows for enforcement of a regular visitation/custody schedule.

Even if your current custody situation is amicable without an order, that does not mean that a custody order should not be established. If both parents are amicable with one another, it may be beneficial to participate in collaborative law or mediation, which does not involve litigation, but allows the parents to work towards establishing a schedule that benefits all parties involved.

If your custody situation is not amicable, it may be time to file a complaint for child custody to establish a custody order to protect your rights as a parent and prevent the other parent from withholding your child from you.

The family law attorneys at Hall Booth Smith, P.C. are here to help you through the child custody process. If you have questions about child custody, you should consult with an attorney to ensure your parental rights are protected. If you have a child custody  matter in Asheville or the surrounding areas, you can call 828-232-4481.

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