Ask When?

Before there is a ruling on custody either one of you could take the children from the other party. However, this is not a good idea and not one that the judge will look on kindly.

If you are going to do the hearing pro se then you should tell the Judge as soon as you have a chance what custodial schedule you want. During your testimony you should explain why it is in their best interests. During your closing you should remind the Judge of your schedule.

It is fairly standard to ask for full custody in a child custody complaint, this is much different than a request to terminate parental rights.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

Charlotte Office
301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 9343.0044

Durham & Chapel Hill Office
1829 East Franklin Street
Building 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 321.0780

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.

My ex and I were working on a Order of Consent when he basically became angry with me and decided to scrap it and entered a complaint for absolute divorce, child custody and child support. The children are currently with me. Obviously, an Order of Consent spells out what I am asking for but since this is going to trial, at what point in the hearing do I ask for what I want? Do I do this in opening arguments or closing or at some other time. Help! I am “pro se” and I definitely want to get this right without upsetting the judge.

Also, the children are with me because my ex and I signed a separation agreement (notarized but not prepared by an atty or filed with the court).

In the new complaint for custody, the wording is that he is asking for temporary and permanent custody of the children. Does this mean that he can come take them from me before there is a final ruling? Would it be wise for me to ask his atty. if he is planning to seek a TPA or should I file for one myself. Or, is the separation agreement alone sufficient until trial?

Thank you. You guys do a wonderful job for those of us who have no where to go or no money to pay for representation. God bless you for the work you do.