Topic: Family Law

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Attend our free Child Custody and Visitation Clinic to learn how to file a child custody action in court without an attorney. You will also learn about visitation. We will provide you with a packet of legal forms and instructions, and you will watch an instructional video. A volunteer attorney will be available to answer general questions.

Download the packets (Descargar los documentos)

The clinic will provide you with general legal information and guidance only. The clinic will not provide you with specific, individual legal advice. If you need more help after the clinic, call our toll-free Helpline to apply for help.

The clinic is held in locations throughout the state. If you do not see a clinic in your county, please check nearby counties. Sign up for the clinic using the form below.

For your convenience, we hold all of our clinics electronically using Facebook Live and Zoom. All of the clinics are completely free and open to the public.

  • Facebook Live: To participate using Facebook, visit our Facebook Live page when the clinic starts. You do not need a Facebook account to watch the presentation, but you do need an account to send questions to the presenters. Sign up for a free Facebook account.
  • Zoom: To participate using Zoom, use the listing below to register for the clinic you are interested in. You do not need a Zoom account to participate in the clinic. Once you register, you will receive an email containing a link to the Zoom presentation. When the clinic starts, click the Zoom link to join.

Topic: Family Law

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Anyone who is 18 years of age or older has the right to start a lawsuit in the North Carolina court system. If the lawsuit is for a claim of $10,000 or less (this amount can vary by county), it can be brought into Small Claims Court, which is available in every county. This guide tells you how to fill out the right forms, prepare for trial, handle the trial, and follow through on the judge’s decision.

A Guide to Small Claims Court

Topic: Family Law

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About

​The Child’s Advocate is a project of Legal Aid of North Carolina that provides attorneys to children in highly contentious family court cases. We are appointed by judges in Wake County Family Court to represent children in cases which usually involve one or more of the following: chronic conflict between the parents, neglect, substance abuse, child abuse, domestic violence, continuing litigation, mental illness, or children with special needs.

Decisions relating to custody and visitation have a critical impact on the lives of the children we serve. Once appointed by the Court, we are attorneys for our child clients, protecting their interests and ensuring their voices are heard.

Attorneys at The Child’s Advocate work with private lawyers and mental health professionals in Wake County to represent every child identified by the Court as needing an independent and zealous advocate.

In the majority of our cases, the Child’s Advocate helps the parents to resolve the custody dispute without the need for a trial. This greatly reduces stress on both the child and the parents, and saves the court the time and expense of a custody trial.

When a trial is necessary, we give the child a strong and effective voice so that the child’s expressed wishes are considered by the court. We also increase the ability of the court to obtain timely and reliable information about the child, the parties and the facts of the case. This allows the court to make the best decision possible to safeguard the child’s interests.​

Learn more about The Child’s Advocate.

News

Topic: Family Law

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Attend our free Simple Divorce Clinic to learn how to file a simple divorce action in court without hiring an attorney. You will receive a packet of legal documents and watch an instructional video. A volunteer attorney will be available to answer general questions.

Filing for divorce affects your rights to property division, spousal support, and alimony. You could lose important rights by filing for divorce. If you wish to pursue property division, spousal support, or alimony, you should consult with a private attorney to discuss your legal rights before filing. You are welcome to attend the clinic for general information, but the clinic does NOT specifically address these issues.

The clinic will provide you with general legal information and guidance only. The clinic will not provide you with specific, individual legal advice. If you need more help after the clinic, call our toll-free Helpline to apply for help.

The clinic is held in locations throughout the state. If you do not see a clinic in your county, please check nearby counties. Sign up for the clinic here.

For your convenience, we hold all of our clinics electronically using Facebook Live and Zoom. All of the clinics are completely free and open to the public.

  • Facebook Live: To participate using Facebook, visit our Facebook Live page when the clinic starts. You do not need a Facebook account to watch the presentation, but you do need an account to send questions to the presenters. Sign up for a free Facebook account.
  • Zoom: To participate using Zoom, use the listing below to register for the clinic you are interested in. You do not need a Zoom account to participate in the clinic. Once you register, you will receive an email containing a link to the Zoom presentation. When the clinic starts, click the Zoom link to join.

Topic: Family Law

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Robert Hill, Staff Attorney with Legal Aid of North Carolina, and Rachel Holtzman, intern with Legal Aid of North Carolina, explain the resources you can use to get the new monthly advance payments for the Child Tax Credit. Check out this live presentation to learn more about how to sign up!

Topic: Family Law

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Dietrich McMillan, an attorney with Legal Aid, discusses the American Rescue Plan concerning the 2021 Child Tax Credit. Check out this video to learn more about whether or not you qualify!

Topic: Family Law

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Sarah Caraffa, an attorney in our Raleigh office, will discuss the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, an international agreement that provides for the speedy return of children abducted by a parent and held in a foreign country.

Topic: Family Law

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Daisy Requeno, a bilingual paralegal in our Central Intake Unit, tells you want you need to know–in English and Spanish–about North Carolina’s Extra Credit Grant program, which provides $335 to some parents/guardians to cover costs associated with virtual schooling and childcare.

Topic: Family Law

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Elysia Prendergast-Jones, supervising attorney in our Raleigh office, provides an overview of child custody law in North Carolina and guidance on how to file for child custody on your own, and discusses the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on your ability to file for custody. This video explains custody law as it applies to both parents and non-parents.