Child Custody Issues


Dear alljams:

Greetings. Here is what I can tell you:

  1. Mom does not have to “worry” about a custody action until one is filed.

  2. She needs to talk to an attorney and have the pleadings reviewed. I cannot advise her to go or not go to court without reviewing the pleadings.

  3. Yes, mediation can be waived if there was domestic violence previously. Thank you.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Divorce
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

10925 David Taylor Drive, Suite 100
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax


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 but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.


Hi Janet and Forum Members,

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas…

This time, my question doesn’t apply to me…Christmas can be so hard on folks going through divorce, especially at Christmas…Listening to a co-worker’s problem, thought I’d ask you…

Situation: Mom and Dad split in 1998…One child, now 12 years old…Child lives with Mom…Mom has MS, works as a waitress…Dad has several convictions for habitual DUI, and one pending…Dad comes over for Christamas to see child, wants to take child “out”…Mom thinks Dad has been drinking, says no…Dad starts talking about child custody, etc…Mom is now scared to death…Dad has new girlfriend, has put into motion divorce…
In divorce, the child is mentioned, but nothing about custody, child support, etc…Child support order is in force throuch DSS…Mom now worried about divorce, child custody, etc…

Question 1: Does mom have to worry about child custody before divorce ?

Question 2: Should she go to court for divorce summary judgment, and express her concerns ?

Question 3: Since dad is habitual DUI, and also has an assault on female (the mom) on his record, can mediation be waived ?

Thanks for your help…