Thank you for your request for assistance. Unfortunately, our staff cannot help you.
Legal Aid of North Carolina is a statewide non-profit law firm that receives funding from the Legal Services Corporation. We only provide help in a range of civil legal matters. Due to our limited staffing, we do not handle child custody or visitation cases.
Listen & Learn
You might decide to take a custody or visitation case to court on your own. Legal Aid of North Carolina offers free online workshops that might be helpful. The LANC Custody and Visitation workshop takes place on the second Tuesday of the month from 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm. There are two parts to the workshop.
You must register in advance to attend a workshop. A workshop can help you learn about North Carolina laws, and how to file a custody or visitation case in court. File means that you deliver court documents to the Clerk of Court to begin a court case.
NC Courts Information
The North Carolina courts have posted information on the internet about custody and visitation laws. You may find information about court procedures and more. Please visit https://www.nccourts.gov/help-topics/family-and-children/child-custody.
NC Courts Custody Mediation and Visitation Program. Generally, when you file a custody or visitation case, you and the other party must attend a negotiation or mediation program. The free program is run by the courts. For information about court mediation, please see: https://www.nccourts.gov/programs/child-custody-and-visitation-mediation-program.
Guide and File is a free online service of the North Carolina Courts. The service is offered for some kinds of cases. The program helps with information and forms. You can fill out and make court documents. Then you can file the documents with the Office of the Clerk of Court. For more information, please visit https://www.nccourts.gov/services#ecourts-guide-amp-file-8964.
Is visitation your goal?
If your goal is to have regular visitation with your child or children, the courts’ Access and Visitation Program might help you. For more information, please visit https://www.nccourts.gov/programs/access-and-visitation-program or call 919.890.1211.
Are you a survivor of human trafficking or family violence?
You might ask for help and guidance before you take a custody or visitation case to court on your own.
If you are a human trafficking survivor
- You might contact Catholic Charities to ask for recommendations about sources of help. In central and eastern North Carolina, you may call 984.900.3426 and visit the website at https://www.catholiccharitiesraleigh.org/
- In western North Carolina and Charlotte, Winston-Salem, and Greensboro, you may contact the main Catholic Charities number in Charlotte at 704.370.3262 and visit the website at https://ccdoc.org/
- You also may wish to call a local rape crisis agency for recommendations. To find a rape crisis agency near you, you may call the NC Coalition Against Sexual Assault at 919.871.1015 and visit https://nccasa.org/get-help/
- There is an online resource directory for human trafficking survivors posted at: https://www.nccourts.gov/assets/inline-files/NC-HTC-Resource-Directory-12142020.pdf
If you are a family violence survivor
- You may ask for recommendations about sources of help by contacting a domestic violence services program near you. You may find a program near you online at https://nccadv.org/ or you may call the National Domestic Violence Hotline toll free at 800.799.7233 or TTY at 800.787.3224. The Hotline is open 24/7.
- For general information about custody, visitation, and family violence, you might view the information at https://www.womenslaw.org/laws/nc/custody/all
Are you an active duty member of the US armed forces?
You should please talk with your commanding officer about sources of legal help that are offered on base. You should also consult a lawyer in private practice who is experienced in handling family law matters for military service members.
- In North Carolina you have special legal protections if you might be deployed. The law about that is the Uniform Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act. For information about the Act, please see: https://civil.sog.unc.edu/custody-when-a-military-parent-deploys/
- More information about military service members and family law matters is posted at https://www.nclamp.gov/for-military-personnel-family/north-carolina-law-take-1-handouts/
Other Legal Help
Before you decide to go to court about visitation or custody, we strongly recommend that you talk with a lawyer in private practice.
Your application is closed. We are sorry that we cannot help you. If you disagree with our decision, please see our grievance policy on our website at https://www.legalaidnc.org/get-help/client-complaints.
Other Civil Legal Problems
If you have other civil legal problems, You are welcome to apply for our help again. We work with senior citizens, veterans, and low-income people.
Our program handles some kinds of civil legal problems. We do not handle any child support, estates, traffic, or security deposit matters, or any active criminal or juvenile court cases.
To apply, please use the application at www.legalaidnc.org. Computers and free internet access are available at the public library. If you cannot apply online, you may call 866.219.5262 toll free to apply.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve you. We hope that this information is helpful.