Jump to Navigation

Child Custody, Visitation, Child Support

Giving You Options in Child Custody and Support

When children are involved, the issues of child custody, child support and visitation can become difficult if there are disagreements. The law office of Mary V. Carrigan believes that the best interests of the children involved are a primary concern. At my practice, I recommend that parties settle their differences outside of a courtroom. Custody trials are expensive and divisive, and usually end up hurting the children, alienating the parents and making it difficult for parents to work together for the children after the custody case is over.

The Process of Custody in Mecklenburg County

To begin the process of settlement, we will start with the needs of the children and the abilities and needs of the parents. Parents need to be open, honest and responsible during settlement negotiations to come to an effective agreement. If the child has special needs or activities or if one of the parents has a demanding work schedule, these are factors that need to be thought about in the settlement process. These factors impact whether there is one primary custodian or whether joint physical custody is appropriate. There are many variations on custodial patterns.

If parents cannot agree to a settlement, private mediation can help lead to a parenting plan to which both parties agree. If there is still no agreement, a lawsuit may be filed in Mecklenburg County.

Once the suit is filed, the parties first have to go to court sponsored mediation. If the parties are still unable to develop a parenting plan, then the case goes to trial. In some difficult cases, expert witnesses may be appointed to conduct a custody evaluation. In addition, Mecklenburg County has lawyers that may appointed represent the children in these cases. This may occur if there are non-routine allegations of drug issues, abuse issues or if the child voices that he or she does not want to be with one of the parents.

The Process of Child Support in North Carolina

Child support is also an issue affecting children. In North Carolina, court-ordered child support is based on the gross monthly income of each parent, work-related child care costs and the cost of health insurance. By agreement, parents can provide for items that the court might not provide, such as payment for private schools, money for college or payment for other activities such as sports, dance, piano, music, cars and car insurance or after-school activities. They may also agree to life insurance protection. Court ordered child support ends at the later of age 18 or high school graduation. It cannot be court ordered for college students.

Contact my firm in Charlotte, North Carolina at 704-333-8855 to set up an initial consultation, where we can discuss your family law concerns.

North Carolina Child Support Guidelines and Calculator

Child Support Services

Child Support Guidelines


The law office of Mary V. Carrigan, Attorney at Law, provides legal representation for clients with family law matters in Charlotte, North Carolina, and throughout the surrounding area, including Mecklenburg County, Huntersville, Davidson, Cornelius, Pineville, Matthews and Ballantyne, North Carolina.


Mary V. Carrigan, Attorney at Law
435 East Morehead Street
Charlotte, NC 28202
Phone: 704-333-8855
Fax: 704-331-0773
Map and Directions

Privacy Policy | Business Development Solutions by FindLaw, a Thomson Reuters business.