Amidst the past few months of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wake County Courthouses have implemented several changes to ensure the safety of the public. As of July 31, 2020, there are some important updates regarding Family Court and how cases will be handled moving forward:
1) Remote Hearings
Parties may consent to have permanent domestic matters heard remotely via WebEx, but they must petition the court for a remote hearing. These matters include Equitable Distribution, Alimony, Child Support, Custody, Modification, or DVPO hearings. It is important to note that the presiding judge has discretion to deny the petition, even if both parties consent.
2) Custody Mediation
Beginning on August 5, 2020, the Family Court staff will be scheduling custody mediation orientation as they did before COVID-19. Mediation orientation and mediation sessions will be held remotely via Zoom, but the Family Court office will provide dates for the remote mediation orientation at the time of the filing of a custody complaint. Mediation sessions for modifications of custody will be set by the custody mediation office.
In order to maintain social distancing on the 5th floor of the courthouse, courtroom 5B (the usual divorce courtroom) will be moving to Courtroom 9C. As soon as this move is complete, all matters currently scheduled in 5B will be heard in 9C.
Beginning September 25, the courthouse will add a new divorce session on Friday afternoons for live trials in order to increase the number of divorce trials heard each week. These divorce trials will be heard at the following times and locations:
- Courtroom 2A at 2:00 p.m.
- Courtroom 2B at 10:30 a.m.
- Courtroom 9C at 10:30 a.m.
For more detailed information regarding the Family Court policies, click here.