Certain counties in the state have been designated as “family law courts.” These counties are given special funding which provides for child custody mediators, special courts for family cases, and certified mediators for issues of support and property distribution. The benefit of family law courts is that one judge is assigned to the case from beginning to end allowing the judge to have a better grasp of the facts and dynamics involved in that particular case.
Once a case is filed in a family court county, all court dates are assigned so all parties know the case schedule ahead of time. That removes the necessity to re-calendar a case over and over in order to get it heard.
Many smaller counties in North Carolina are not designated as family court counties and do not have the benefit of those programs. Getting a case before the court in these counties can be a long and frustrating process.