The opinion held by the overwhelming majority of people in North Carolina may be that when a married couple divorces, the family court hearing their case has the sole authority to determine their custody arrangement. While most may permit the court to take the lead in this regard, it is not the only option divorcing couples have when considering child custody.
Indeed, a divorcing couple can come up with an informal agreement on their own in relation to custody without involving the court. In such a scenario, each party to the arrangement typically retains equal decision-making authority. Yet certain restrictions may come into play when adopting such an agreement.
Ex-NBA star facing custody lawsuit
One can see this in the case of former NBA star player Kevin Garnett. According to Radar, Garnett and a former girlfriend had a daughter together. Garnett acknowledged the paternity of this child and the couple reportedly reached an agreement regarding the child’s welfare without involving the court.
Recently, however, Garnett’s ex-girlfriend opted to sue the former star in court for both custody and child support. Reports do not indicate why she chose to seek action at this time. In this action, she asks that Garnett provide medical insurance for the child, along with covering certain costs such as her educational and extracurricular activities.
Legal clout to an informal custody agreement
Many may see the value in adopting their own informal custody arrangements (given the opportunity to avoid adding further stress to their divorce cases). Yet cases such as the one shown above highlight some of these agreements’ shortcomings. However, one can add legal legitimacy to an informal agreement by presenting it to the court during divorce proceedings. In such a scenario, the court will often reward a divorcing couple’s collaboration and make their arrangement official.