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
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.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.