COVID-19 has forced courthouses across North Carolina to limit public access and significantly scale back their operations. Under orders from the North Carolina Supreme Court, courts have delayed hearing almost all non-emergency cases until at least the beginning of June. Even if courts are to expand operations and resume hearing these cases at partial capacity in June, we anticipate a significant backlog and wait time for new matters to be heard.
Prepare While Waiting
If you are involved in a child custody dispute or anticipate needing child custody orders, you don’t have to sit still while you wait. There are plans that you can make with the attorneys at New Direction Family Law. We offer complete and comprehensive virtual consultations, during which we will listen to you, can help you explore all of your options, and can begin to implement a plan custom-tailored to your needs. Further, courts are still accepting filings, so we can prepare legal pleadings and file them on your behalf.
- Develop a plan that satisfies you and your child’s needs. Before you seek child custody orders or an agreement, you should understand your rights and know what sort of custody and visitation terms you want. Courts weigh these decisions based on a child’s best interest, which encompasses a wide variety of different considerations. Amongst these is an assumption that children thrive when they have a continued relationship with both parents. Your attorney can give you guidance as to what factors a court may focus on in your situation and what information you will need to gather as evidence.
- Agreements are common. Despite limited court access at this time, nothing is preventing you from reaching a child custody agreement with the other parent and submitting it to a judge to make the agreement a court order. These agreements are incredibly common and encouraged by the courts. We can provide you with guidance in coordinating and representing you during a virtual mediation to attempt to reach a formal agreement between you and the other parent.
Do You Need an Emergency Order?
Do your children need emergency protection? Domestic violence protection orders and emergency child custody orders are an exception to the current limitations. These orders only apply in extreme situations where a court finds that a child is in danger of immediate harm. A court can grant emergency custody to one parent while limiting or restricting the access of the other parent until the court can conduct a hearing.
Contact New Direction Family Law
If you want help addressing the custody of your child, we are here to consult with you. The team at New Direction Family Law provides advice and representation to people who need help resolving family law issues. Our lawyers are experienced, proven professionals who can help you make a plan to move forward. If you need help, call New Direction Family Law at (919) 719-3470 to schedule a consultation or visit us online through our website.