How Long Do Child Custody Cases Take in NC?

Child custody battles can be stressful, emotional, and take a toll on anyone involved. One of the most common questions we get as family law attorneys is, “How long will my custody case take?”

In this blog post, we will explore the time frame for temporary and permanent custody hearings, as well as factors that can impact the duration of your case.

Temporary Custody Hearing

The first hearing you will have in your custody case is the temporary custody hearing. This hearing usually occurs about 90 days after filing. During the hearing, the judge will hear evidence from both sides and quickly determine custody. Typically, the judge will go for a 50/50 child custody arrangement unless there is a compelling reason not to.

Factors impacting the length of your temporary custody hearing include emergencies or other urgent circumstances. In most cases, however, you should plan on it taking about 90 days to get to your first custody hearing.

Permanent Custody Hearing

If you are seeking permanent custody, you will need to attend a full custody hearing. This hearing will involve presenting evidence and witnesses and can take anywhere from six to 12 months to schedule. In some cases, it may take as long as 12 to 18 months to schedule a full custody hearing.

Factors that can impact the duration of your permanent custody hearing include the complexity of your case and the number of witnesses involved. If your case requires more than two or three days in court, it can take even longer to schedule a hearing.

North Carolina law defines permanent custody as lasting two to three years, meaning the court will not revisit the issue every 90 days. However, if circumstances change, you can always request that the court revisit the issue.

What Impacts the Length of a Child Custody Case?

Several factors can impact the duration of a child custody case. One of the biggest factors is the complexity of your case. If your case involves multiple witnesses, a history of abuse, or other complicated issues, it can take longer to schedule a hearing.

Another factor that can impact the length of your case is the court’s schedule. If the court is busy, it may take longer to schedule a hearing. Additionally, if there are delays due to scheduling conflicts or emergencies, it can take even longer to get a hearing on the calendar.

Finally, the behavior of the parties involved in the case can impact the length of the case. If both parties are willing to work together and compromise, it can lead to a faster resolution of the case. However, if one or both parties are uncooperative, it can lead to delays and a longer case.

Contact Apple Payne Law Today

Child custody cases can take anywhere from 90 days to 12 to 18 months, depending on the type of hearing and the case’s complexity. While some cases may move more quickly, it is best to plan for a longer time frame to avoid scheduling conflicts with vacations or other important events.

If you find yourself in a situation where you need an attorney to help you with custody of your children, don’t hesitate to contact our team at Apple Payne Law. We are here to help you navigate life’s important decisions and get the best possible outcome for you and your children.

Author Bio

Ronald D. Payne II
Ronald D. Payne II is the CEO and Managing Attorney of Apple Payne Law, a North Carolina law firm he founded in 2018. With more than 11 years of experience practicing law, he is dedicated to representing clients in a wide range of legal matters, including business law, estate planning, family law, probate, and traffic law.

Ronald received his Juris Doctor from the Wake Forest University School of Law and is a member of the North Carolina Bar Association. He has received numerous accolades for his work, including being awarded the 2020 Client’s Choice Award by Avvo and multiple Rising Star awards from Super Lawyers.

LinkedIn | State Bar Association | Avvo | Google

location map

Contact us below and we’ll be in touch as soon as possible!

Kernersville Office

900 Old Winston Rd. STE 212
Kernersville NC 27284

Winston-Salem Office

190 Charlois Blvd. Suite 200
Winston-Salem NC 27103