Seven Rumors about Custody Actions Debunked   1.  There is a preference towards Mothers

There was a time when mothers were preferred in custody cases. However, these preferences have been outlawed in almost every state. The court cannot give the mother more rights regarding custody simply because she is the mother. Other factors must exist, such as consistency, adequate care plan for the child, etc.

  2.  Child support actions deal with child custody

Many fathers pay child support and then wonder when that court will grant them visitation rights. The reality is that child support court and child custody court are two entirely different and unrelated proceedings. There will be different judges and procedures, etc. The father can seek custody rights whether he is paying child support or not. However, the child custody action must be filed.

  3. It always takes a long time to get anything done

temporary and emergency actions

If the father has an immediate safety concern for the child, an emergency custody order can be entered immediately. With safety concerns, there is an exception to traditional notice requirements and the judge can sign a custody order immediately.  Even without the emergency facts, a father can request a temporary custody hearing and that can be set for a hearing within 30 days of filing the custody action.

  4.  You have to say something bad about the other parent to get custodial rights

Custody actions are about the best interest of the child. The child can have the most amazing mother and the father can still file a custody action to get a structured visitation schedule. The child’s best interest will be to have a meaningful relationship with both parents.

  5.  You are helpless when the other side violates the order.

The custody orders are enforceable by the civil and criminal contempt powers of the court. This means that if the other parent does not follow the terms of the custody order, he/she can be fined or placed in jail.

  6. Once an order is in place, there is nothing you can do to change it.

All orders can be modified if there is a substantial change in circumstances since the entry of the previous order. Job changes, scheduler changes and other life circumstances can justify changes to custody orders.

  7.  If you are dissatisfied with the judge’s ruling, there is nothing you can do.

Custody judges are trial judges. This means that their decisions can be reviewed by appeals or appellate judges. Thus, if the judge ruled in a manner that was extremely unfair, this ruling can be changed by an appeals judge.

There are many tools available to the parent who is serious about enforcing his/her custodial rights. Get accurate information and use all the legal means available. Your child needs you.

If you cannot afford to hire an attorney, these documents are available for you to file your Robeson County Custody Action, without an attorney. While we highly recommend you consult an attorney, you do have the right to file your custody action.


    1. Custody Complaint (Click to Download)
    2. Custody handout (Click to Download)
    3. Domestic Civil Action Cover Sheet (Click to Download)
    4. Robeson County Custody Mediation Cover Sheet (Click to Download)
    5. Summons (Click to Download)