Wake County Family Court
Wake County is fortunate to have a specialized family court located in the Wake County Courthouse on the 11th floor. All family court cases go through this office. These claims include: child custody, divorce, equitable distribution, alimony/post separation support, and child support. All domestic cases are assigned a specific family court judge who hears all of the claims pleaded in a family law complaint. Currently, our family court judges are: Honorable Lori Christian, Honorable Christine Walczyk, Honorable Michael Denning and Honorable Anna Worley. Each judge has a case coordinator who can explain the court process, email forms not provided on the website, schedule conferences, trials and other court events, inform plaintiffs/defendants of upcoming hearing dates, answer questions regarding the status of your case, ensure that court orders are entered in a timely manner and direct you to other agencies and resources. The Family Court office does not give legal advice. It is important for you to hire an experienced attorney who is familiar with the process.
Wake County is one of the few jurisdictions in the State to have specialized rules and procedures for Family Court. In fact, Wake County Family Court has local rules that all litigants must follow. These local rules are located at http://www.nccourts.org/Courts/CRS/Policies/LocalRules/Default.asp. These rules are enforced whether or not you have an attorney or are representing yourself. Many people make the mistake of hiring an attorney from a different county who is not familiar with these local rules. When interviewing an attorney, be sure that they are familiar with Wake County’s local rules and family court judges.
All parties in cases involving child custody are required to participate in custody mediation unless specifically excused by the judge. Mediation is a great resource for parties and the mediators are helpful and experienced. However, the mediators are not attorneys and do not give legal advice. Even if you agree on a custody schedule through mediation, you should have an attorney review the agreement before signing it to ensure that you fully understand it and its implications.
Whether you wish to settle your case amicably or intend to litigate it through the courts, you should consult with an attorney who is familiar with the process. Many people think that they only need an attorney in contested cases. However, an experienced attorney can help you protect the rights of you and your family. Contact us today for a consultation.