A Brighter Future Awaits.

When Should I Go Back to a North Carolina Court for Child Custody Issues?

On Behalf of | Jun 24, 2024 | Child Custody |

Navigating child custody issues can be one of the most challenging aspects of family law for parents in North Carolina. Whether you’re dealing with repeated violations of an existing custody order or changing circumstances that affect your current arrangement, understanding your options is critical. Many parents find themselves wondering if their ex is intentionally violating the custody order or if there’s a lack of understanding. When faced with such challenges, it’s important to know the various approaches to resolving child custody disputes, including mediation and when it might be necessary to return to court for enforcement or modification of your custody order.

Going back to court for enforcement can be an effective solution in some cases. The court has the power to enforce child custody orders through contempt proceedings. Penalties for contempt of court range from a judge’s reprimand to fines or even jail time. Often, the party held in contempt must pay the other party’s attorney fees. However, before considering court action, it’s crucial to understand all available options, including mandatory mediation.

Understanding Your Options for Resolving Custody Problems

When issues arise concerning child custody, you have several avenues to consider:

  1. Negotiation Through Attorneys: Sometimes, direct negotiation between lawyers can resolve issues without court intervention. This can be less adversarial and is often more cost-effective.
  2. Mediation: North Carolina requires mediation in custody disputes before heading to court. This process involves a neutral third party helping you reach an agreement. It’s less formal than court and can foster cooperative problem-solving. Only if mediation is unsuccessful can you go to court.
  3. Court Intervention: If the other parent has violated the custody order, your lawyer might need to file a motion to hold your ex in contempt of court.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Each Option

  1. Lawyer Negotiation:
    • Advantages: Less confrontational, potentially quicker resolution
    • Disadvantages: Depends on cooperative parties and skilled attorneys
  2. Mediation:
    • Advantages: Usually faster, encourages mutual agreement
    • Disadvantages: May not resolve all issues if parties are very contentious
  3. Going to Court:
    • Advantages: Legal enforceability, clear decisions
    • Disadvantages: Can be costly, time-consuming, and stressful

When Should You Consider Going Back to Court?

You shouldn’t head to court every time you and your ex have a disagreement. That could annoy the judge.

Going to court may be necessary, however, if your ex continually violates the custody order without reasonable excuses and you have tried to solve the problem on your own or through mediation.

You may also go to court and ask for a modification of your custody order if there has been a significant change in circumstances that makes it difficult to comply with the order.

Final Thoughts

Dealing with custody issues is never easy, but understanding your options can empower you to make informed decisions. Throughout the process, keep your child’s best interests in mind. Remember that you do not have to navigate these complex legal waters alone. A compassionate and knowledgeable family law attorney can be extremely helpful in navigating the process of changing or enforcing your custody order. They can assist you in prioritizing your family’s needs and taking the necessary legal action. If you are facing custody issues in North Carolina, consider contacting an experienced family law attorney who can offer you the support and expertise you require during this difficult time.


findlaw network