One of the scariest parts of getting divorced is the legal limbo that you go through while waiting for matters of Child Custody to get sorted out. Whether you live in Cary or Raleigh, if you choose to get this sorted out in the courts, you will be in front of one of the family law judges in Wake County District Court.
Child Custody is probably one of the most stressful and highly litigated aspects of divorce that I see, and with a 12 week old son at home, I can understand why. One of the biggest joys I get each day is when I see him wake up and smile at me, or laugh when I come home. I can’t imagine anything worse than having that taken away.
This is one of the main reasons that I strongly advocate the use of Collaborative Divorce, especially in Wake County, North Carolina. If you decide to go the litigation route, here is a quick summary of what will happen with your case:
- A complaint will get filed and served on the opposing spouse (Defendant). This begins to escalate the conflict in your case. Nobody likes getting served with a lawsuit.
- Each judge has a family court case coordinator. A child custody mediation will be scheduled, with the hopes that you will be able to resolve a lot of issues at mediation and eliminate the need for step number three.
- A temporary hearing will be held within 60 days of the initial filing of the complaint. At that hearing, which lasts 2 hours, you and your attorney will tell the judge why you are a good parent and the other parent is a bad parent. The other side will do the same. At the end of two hours, the judge will make a decision on who shall get custody initially, and may award child support.
If you haven’t resolved this portion of your divorce by now, then you and your spouse will engage in discovery to learn more about the other and prepare for a final “trial” on child custody.
Anyway, that is how divorce and child custody work in Cary and Raleigh.