Child Custody


No area of family law is more important, or more emotionally charged, than child custody litigation. While North Carolina law is clear that the best interest of the minor child is the “polar star” of all custody litigation, all too often, one or both litigants insist on putting their interests before those of their child. The result is custody litigation which can be costly, time consuming, and sometimes emotionally devastating for a family.

Our attorneys encourage and support the use of custody mediation for the resolution of custody disputes, and work with clients to successfully resolve custody disputes without litigation on an almost daily basis. However, all family lawyers realize that some disputes simply cannot be settled, and can only be resolved through litigation. If all reasonable attempts at settlement fail, Mr. Cecil is fully prepared to litigate custody issues. Mr. Cecil feels that custody determinations are almost always the most important decisions that are made by our District Court Judges, and custody matters are always taken very seriously, understanding the tremendous impact that these issues have on our clients and their families. While it is said that no one “wins” in a custody case, if necessary, Mr. Cecil will advocate zealously for our clients and for the best interests of the minor child involved.


Modification of Child Custody, Relocation Cases

Like child support, and award of child custody may be modified by the Court if one parent can demonstrate a substantial change of circumstances that affects the welfare of the minor child. Because many changes are certain to occur over the course of a child's 18 years of minority, motions to modify a prior custody decision are relatively common, and Mr. Cecil both defends and prosecutes dozens of these motions each year. Often the change in circumstances deals with a parent's change of employment, or a change or residence. On some occasions, the change alleged might simply be that the child has aged, and that he or she would benefit from more time with one parent, or with a different custodial arrangement that better suits an academic or extracurricular schedule.