Kings Mountain, NC asked in Child Custody for North Carolina

Q: Is there a way I can get custody without going to court? Since their dad has no involvement in their lives -no support

I live in NC

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1 Lawyer Answer
Mr. Albert Loch Saslow
Mr. Albert Loch Saslow
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Greensboro, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: Perhaps, but the father would have to participate in some manner in the process. The following options give you "custody" without actually having to go to court, although some of them involve the filing of a custody action.

1. If you were married to the father and haven't yet divorced, as part of a separation agreement, you and the father can agree on custodial terms and memorialize those terms in writing. The caveat here is that this is just a contract between you and the father, and there aren't any real 'teeth' to enforce the terms if either of you aren't following the terms.

2. Same as above, if you were married to the father and haven't yet divorced, you can create your own custody terms and include them in a separation agreement. At the time you get divorced, you can have the custody terms incorporated into your divorce, which has the effect of creating a court order. As the custody terms are now a court order, they can more easily be enforced.

3. You can file a custody action, and before you go to court in front of a judge and have hearing, you can agree at child custody mediation on the terms of a custody order. If everyone agrees and signs the proposed custody document, it will be given to a judge and turned into a custody order.

To answer your question in another way, you CAN'T "get" custody without the father's participation in one of those ways set forth above, or if the father won't participate, you will need to have a hearing in front of a judge.

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