High Conflict Custody Cases in North Carolina

high conflict child custody case

Child custody battles can be emotionally taxing for everyone involved. In North Carolina, high conflict custody cases pose unique challenges, not only for the parents but also for the legal system. The state’s main concern is always the best interests of the child. But how does North Carolina handle cases where parents can’t see eye to eye, and conflict is intense and persistent?

Let’s delve into the laws and provisions for these specific situations.

Best Interests of the Child

First and foremost, North Carolina’s child custody decisions revolve around the child’s best interests. This principle remains steadfast, regardless of the level of conflict between the parents. Factors considered include the child’s safety, emotional well-being, each parent’s ability to care for the child, and the child’s relationship with each parent.

Role of Custody Mediation

To alleviate court congestion and promote cooperative parenting, North Carolina mandates custody mediation in high conflict cases. Before the court hears the case, parents must participate in free, court-ordered mediation sessions to try and resolve their differences. Trained mediators guide these sessions, aiming to help parents establish a workable parenting arrangement.

Parenting Coordinators

In particularly contentious cases, the court might appoint a Parenting Coordinator (PC). This individual is typically a mental health or legal professional who assists parents in resolving disputes regarding their child’s upbringing. The PC’s role might include making minor decisions when parents can’t agree, facilitating communication, and ensuring court orders are followed.

Supervised Visitation

If the court believes direct conflict or potential harm might arise from unsupervised interactions, supervised visitation may be ordered. During supervised visits, a neutral third party is present to ensure the child’s safety and well-being.

Psychological Evaluations

In high conflict situations, especially where allegations of abuse, neglect, or other serious concerns arise, the court might order psychological evaluations for the parents, children, or the entire family. These assessments help the court understand the dynamics at play and make informed decisions about custody and visitation.

Restricted Communication

To minimize conflict, courts can set specific parameters around communication between the parents. This might include stipulations that all communication be related solely to the child, be done in writing, or even be conducted through specific apps designed for co-parenting communication.

Involvement of Guardian ad Litem

In some cases, a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) may be appointed to represent the child’s best interests directly. The GAL investigates, observes, and ultimately provides the court with recommendations based on their findings.


High conflict custody cases in North Carolina are intricate and challenging. The state’s primary aim is to shield children from the fallout of these conflicts and ensure they grow up in environments that are safe and nurturing. Parents embroiled in such disputes should consider seeking legal representation to navigate the complexities of the situation and advocate for their rights and the best interests of their children.

It’s important to also contact a family law attorney if any substance abuse is linked to your child custody case.

Get in Touch with Our Experienced Child Custody Attorneys

Going through high conflict child custody cases in North Carolina demands experienced legal guidance to protect your rights and the well-being of your children. Our dedicated family law team understands the complexities and emotional toll of these disputes. We’re committed to offering compassionate and comprehensive legal support throughout this whole process. If you’re facing a high conflict child custody case, don’t go it alone. Reach out to us today for a consultation, and let us be your advocate in securing a positive outcome for your family.