Child custody & Support



Your children are your life. You only want what is best for them. And, in some cases, that means you have to fight for them. We know that co-parenting can be complicated. Determining who gets custody of the children and who pays child support is not always straightforward, but it is important for the welfare of your children.

At Routh Law, we are here to help you through the various legal processes related to child custody and child support. You are not alone in your fight, and we will do everything we can, including going to trial, to help you and your children get what is in their best interests.

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Understanding Child Custody

Custody disputes can be very emotional for everyone involved. If you're going through a custody dispute, it's important that you have the right legal representation. You need someone who will fight for your rights.

Routh Law has years of experience helping families throughout North Carolina reach agreements on custody issues in even the most contentious cases. Whether we are representing you in court or helping you mediate a child custody agreement, we will work diligently to find solutions that work best for your family.

Maria and Christina
Maria and Christina

Child Support in North Carolina

Our North Carolina family law team will work with you every step of the way in order to settle these child support issues as quickly as possible so that you can focus on your family. We will fight for your child's rights to receive financial support.

Child custody issues

We work with clients to develop a custody arrangement that works for both parents and for the children involved. There are many issues that may need to be addressed, such as:


It is important to account for the role that each parent will play in a child's life. This includes creating a visitation schedule.

Safety issues

Establishing guidelines for handling safety issues such as access to drugs, alcohol consumption, use of guns, and animal ownership.


Developing a plan to address a child's medical and educational needs as they grow up and their needs evolve.

Future Conflicts

Creating a plan to address future conflicts as they arise, such as changes to holidays, visitation schedules, schooling, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions


In North Carolina, a judge must decide custody by determining what will “promote the best interest and welfare of the child.” This can involve many factors including, but not limited to:

  • The relationship the child has with each parent
  • The emotional and physical health of each parent
  • Whether or not the parent can provide the child with a stable life
  • Whether the parents are willing to work together and allow the child to have a relationship with both parents
  • History of domestic violence, abuse, or criminal behavior by either parent

North Carolina courts do not prefer mothers over fathers in custody disputes.

What does "custody" Mean?

Generally speaking, child custody is the right to have a child in your care (physical custody) and make decisions on your child's behalf, such as medical, educational, religious, and extracurricular activities (legal custody). Both physical custody and legal custody can be shared by two parents or be awarded solely to one parent.

If parents share joint legal custody, then they must work with one another to make major life decisions. A parent with sole legal custody, on the other hand, can make decisions without the other parent’s consent.

How does physical custody work?

The term physical custody refers to how many overnight visits each parent spends with the minor children each calendar year. Various terms to describe this relationship are used interchangeably, depending on the situation, to include primary physical custody, secondary physical custody, joint physical custody, and sole physical custody. A physical custody schedule outlines the schedule for the year to include holidays, summer breaks, and school year parenting time.

Who gets legal custody of a child?

Legal custody may look different from one family to the next. Who is awarded legal custody really depends on the specific facts of a case. For example, a judge may order joint custody wherein parents must make decisions together and agree on major changes to the child's current lifestyle. However, a judge may also order that one parent has final decision-making authority if an agreement cannot be reached regarding major issues effecting the minor children. In other situations, a judge will give one parent final decision-making authority on some major issues and give the other parent final decision-making authority on the remaining issues.


The North Carolina Child Support Guidelines are used to determine the amount of support that should be paid depending on each family’s financial situation.

Judges generally order child support consistent with the guidelines unless applying the required child support would not adequately meet the needs of the child, would exceed the needs of the child, or would be unjust and inappropriate depending on the circumstances.

There are other instances in which the guidelines would not be applied. For example, a parent can file a Notice of Intent to Deviate from the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines. In addition, the guidelines only apply to parties with a combined annual income of less than $300,000.00.

Click here for more information about North Carolina’s child support guidelines and worksheets to help you calculate child support obligations.

What happens when a parent fails to pay child support?

When a parent fails to pay court ordered child support, the consequences can be severe. A court may hold a non-paying parent in contempt of court. The non-paying parent can even be arrested and face jail time.


Yes. Both custody and child support orders can be modified due to “changes in circumstances.” For example, child support orders may be changed if one parent loses their job, or has a substantial reduction or increase in income. However, modifying a court order can be challenging. Should you believe that a change in your circumstances warrants a modification, speak with an experienced family law attorney.

Should I hire a child custody attorney?

At Routh Law, Kelly Routh and our team are experienced, full-service family law professionals. From divorce to child custody, we’re here to help. If you need assistance with child custody and support, contact us now to schedule a consultation.


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Kelly is very responsive and knowledgeable. Going through this process was very difficult and she was there every step of the way. Any time I had a question, she was there to answer and walk me through it. If you want someone who will be by your side every step of the way, Kelly Routh is the attorney for you!


Amazing! 5 stars is not enough to describe the professionalism, knowledge, and determination of Kelly and Brittany. Kelly agreed to take my case after I was run around for 15 months by another Charlotte attorney. I explained my situation and my frustration and Kelly took my case as if she was there from day one. Her knowledge and experience gave her the upper hand and finished my case in just a few months. Without Kelly, I don’t know where my case would be right now. I do know that I went from paying $1750 per month to $750! Kelly is amazing and I would highly recommend her to anyone. She is the best attorney in Charlotte.


If you are reading this review then you have come to the right place for one of the best, if not the best family law attorneys for the greater Charlotte area! As a repeat client, it has been a pleasure having Kelly represent me during not-so-pleasant times. She has all of the attributes one could ask for in an attorney period. Look no further for an attorney that is clear, concise, flexible, and willing to represent you the way you want to be represented.

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