In North Carolina, the exact flow of a child custody case may vary greatly depending on the circumstances involved and the county in which the action is taking place.  However, and generally speaking, a custody case will flow through several different phases.

The first stage of a child custody case typically involves the pleadings, which are the written answers, counterclaims, replies, and motions which outline the positions of the parties and set the course for an eventual trial.  The pleading stage typically  last anywhere from 1 to 4 months.

Once the pleadings are complete, the discovery phase begins, during which the parties gather information, either formally, through mechanisms such as depositions, interrogatories, or requests for production of documents, or informally.

Mediation typically occurs during the discovery phase.  All parties to child custody disputes in North Carolina must complete court ordered mediation prior to heading to trial.  Once mediation is complete, the parties will typically schedule their case for trial in front of a family law judge for a final determination.

For a more in-depth look at these steps, view our full blog on procedure in NC child custody cases.

Posted by Bill Hunter
Hunter & Hein, Attorneys at Law, PLLC