Child Custody in North Carolina
WFLG’s family law attorneys are experienced in helping you work through custody issues to reach a satisfactory agreement. In cases that cannot be resolved out of court, we will advocate for you to protect your custodial rights in a lawsuit.
In an ideal scenario, the parents are able to work together to reach an agreement on how to share custody of their children. In cases where the parents can agree on a custodial arrangement, the agreement should be formalized to avoid future disputes.
North Carolina custody agreements can be formalized as part of a Separation Agreement, in a separate parenting agreement, or in a court order called a “Consent Order.” A court order may be preferred over a contract for custody in some cases because of the ease in enforcement and because of the difficulty in modification.
If you and the other parent are unable to reach an agreement on custody issues, you can file a lawsuit seeking child custody or visitation rights. Once a lawsuit has been filed, Wake County requires both parties to attend mandatory child custody mediation sessions. After a mediation orientation session with other parents, you and the other parent will set up a time to meet with a neutral mediator in an attempt to resolve your issues and reach a parenting agreement. If you are successful, the mediator will draft the parenting agreement that becomes an order of court once it is signed by the parents and the judge.
If child custody mediation in unsuccessful and the matter goes to court, the court is required to look at what is in the best interest of the child/children. The court may consider many factors, but there is no preference toward the mother or father.
We realize that parents and other caretakers often have many questions about custody rights. See our frequently asked questions page for more information, or contact a WFLG attorney to discuss your specific concerns related to child custody in North Carolina.