Narrator: before we get started, let’s be clear about some important facts. This tutorial does not guarantee that you will get custody or visitation. Before you file for custody or visitation, be aware that the judge will determine who will have custody of your child and what visitation rights will be allowed. The judge may not follow your wishes or recommendation. Once you file for custody or visitation, the other parent can hire an attorney and fight.
You in court, and the legal process for gaining custody or visitation rights can be very timeconsuming and complicated. If you or your child is a victim of domestic violence or if Child Protective Services is involved with your family or if your child lives in another state or the other parent is on active duty in the military, we strongly advise you to consult with an attorney before making a decision about filing for custody.
If there is already a custody case that concerns the child over whom you want custody or visitation, then this tutorial will not help you. You should consult an attorney to determine what action needs to be taken. And this tutorial is the first in a twopart series about how to represent yourself in a custody case. This first tutorial is going to show you how to file for a custody or visitation order.
From the court and how to prepare for mediation. The second tutorial will explain how to prepare your case for trial. Our presentation is divided into six sections. Overview will briefly explain how the court will make its decision and the meaning of some terms, like joint custody or sole custody, that are used by the court. Where to file will tell you how to decide the correct county where you should file for.
Custody. Filling out the forms will show you how to fill out the forms that are needed to start your custody action. Filing the Forms will tell you how and where to file your completed forms with the court. Giving Notice will tell you how to let the other person in the custody or visitation action know about the case.
The law requires that this notice be given in very specific ways. Mediation will describe the mediation process you will take part in, and give you some suggestions for preparing for the mediation. We will also tell you what happens if the mediation fails to get an agreement between you and the other person involved in your case. Overview.
In north carolina, if you file a custody or visitation case in court, a district court judge will make the final decision about who gets custody and what visitation is allowed. If an agreement is not reached during mediation then there will be a court hearing. JUDGE: Let’s come to order. Calling the first case, Janet Hall Thomas VS. Richard Craig Thomas.
Parties come forward. NARRATOR: The judge will listen to testimony from witnesses, including you and the other person involved in the case. The judge will also review evidence. The judge will then decide what is in the best interest of the child. JUDGE: Ok, I’m ready to make my ruling.
Putting Children First Minimizing Conflict in Custody Cases
Each year, thousands of parents living apart or divorcing look to the courts for resolution of their disputes. Sometimes they argue over money or property and sometimes they quarrel about their children. But fights over custody, access, parenting time and visitation have unintended victims, the children themselves whose emotional wellbeing can be harmed by their parents fight. In this tutorial, Elaine Gordon, a superior court judge who presides over custody trials talks to you over the reality of these custody disputes and their.
Unfortunate consequences for children. Hello, my name is Elaine Gordon and I’m a judge who presides over custody disputes. I’d like to talk to you a little bit today about divorce, custody fights, and what happens to the children whose parents have those fights. I do this in the hope that what I say will inform what you do and in terms of handling your case you’ll be able to do that in a way which does your children the least amount of harm.
You know one of the problems that we have among couples who are getting divorced is they assume that everybody is fighting about everything and in fact if you come to court you will see the hallways filled with people, you believe that that is so. But in fact, that is not the case. Over 50% of the people who are getting divorced who have kids, resolve their disputes before they ever step foot in their lawyers’ offices. They recognize the custody dispute for what it really is, a personal family matter that parents need.
To resolve for themselves. Another 2030% of the people will, with a little bit of help from their lawyers or maybe the family relations office, will also be able to resolve their cases. Another 1020% of people will go on to mediation either through our family relations office or through private mediators and they’ll be able to settle their cases. So who does that leave? It leaves only about 10% of the couples who are separating or divorcing who have kids, who go on with.
The fight. The next step in a fight for those 10% of people, what they do that nobody else does, is that they enlist their children in their battle. How do they do this? Well, they have a family relations evaluation, or a guardian ad litem is appointed, or an attorney for the minor children or a psychological evaluation. All of those things have the same result. The children are exposed to the fight, asked to participate in it, and in some ways become.
Foot soldiers in their parents’ battle. that step involving strangers, third parties in the lives of your children does irrevocable damage to the kids and I’m going to tell you in a little bit later about what kind of damage that is. But first of all, you can see that asking a child, What do you think about your mom? or What do you think about your dad? could have some dire consequences in terms of the power inside of the family or putting an undue burden on the children themselves. That’s the first and most obvious consequence.
The others are even more devastating. Let’s think about this divorce from the point of view of a child. I like to try to think of it, actually, as thinking about it from the height of perhaps a smaller child, not adult sized, but child sized, looking at the world from basically behind their parents, because that’s what kids do. They rely on their parents to be the wall between them and the outside world. It’s a protective wall for them. And what most kids think about when.
They think about their family at all is pretty basic. they think mommy loves daddy and daddy loves Mommy and they love me. And then one day, parents who are separating or divorcing come to their kids and say well, Mommy and Daddy don’t love each other anymore, but don’t worry honey, we love you. That’s not what your kids hear. What your kids hear is Mommy and Daddy don’t love each other anymore. Uh oh. They can stop loving me as well. And so for every child in every family that is separating or divorcing, the overwhelming.