What Now?

Dear LetItBurn:

Greetings. You must go to custody mediation prior to hearing the custody issue. You should be preparing for a custody trial.

Now, you may want to go ahead and accept worksheet B child support just to get some money now. That way, when you have the trial on child custody and child support (and attorney fees which you should have requested) you can ask for more money.

The problem is that if you cannot agree on what the custody is, you cannot agree on child support. Keep your head up and push your attorney to get some temporary support for you. Best of luck.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney at Law
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607

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.

Went to court, got nowhere. My atty & his atty discussed a few things before we went in front of the judge. Judge was supposed to hear child support and “all pending issues”. His atty filed for all pending after mine asked for the child support hearing. Anyway, my atty & I use Wksht A to determine his support amount, add up all the bills for the children, and write down what we had been showing visitation to be (all in previous separation agreements). His lawyer took the paper to him for his review. He returns to say that now my ex doesn’t agree that I have sole custody. He says he gets the children enough to qualify for Wksht B (he does not - unless 1-2 nights every other weekend is enough). Judge then makes a referral to mediation. We have been through several separation agreements and each time (even after a settlement conference that my atty & I thought resolved everything) my ex & his atty come up with something different to avoid signing it. I think they are stalling. So how does mediation serve me? I am not receiving any monies for my 2 children & haven’t for 7 months. My ex still doesn’t have to pay as now we cannot agree on custody. He’s never been involved & just picks them up when it’s necessary to show the world he does what he’s supposed to do. Mediation is going to waste my time and keep me from getting the support I need to raise our children.

If I do not agree to him having anything more than visitation (no joint legal or physical) and we cannot agree with mediation, then we go back to court, right? If we do, I’m the primary caregiver for my children & have been since birth so there’s no way they’d give him joint, is there? This case is in Gaston County & I hear they do as they please.