If you are filing for primary custody yes, you will have to go to court. Essentially, you are asking the courts to grant primary physical custody to you. He will be notified, and there will be a hearing unless he agrees…but I still believe that it will go to court initially.
I suggest that if you are concerned about all this, you have a separation agreement drawn up that states that the children will reside with you primarily with him having liberal visitations. You can even state which days will be his visitations. This will keep it from going to court if you two can agree on custody.
NC defaults to joint legal custody. Joint physical custody is actually the best scenario for the children involved unless there is abuse, IMHO. This way they are not made to choose between two parents that they love and want to be with, they can be with both an equal amount of time.

Understand they are his children as well, so is he willing to let you leave with the children because you just can’t take the children out of the marital home without some type of agreement.

You will need to file the complaint with the court and serve a copy on your spouse. You will be responsible for complying with all court procedures and deadlines and you should make sure that you have reviewed a copy of the local rules for domestic court in your county.

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


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When filing for primary physical custody, what do I need to do? Will my STBX be notified? Do we have to go to court? I am planning on moving out this month (because he won’t leave)and I will be taking our boys with me, but I want to make sure that I have my ducks in a row before doing anything. Thanks!