The Custody Advocacy Program is appointed by Mecklenburg County Family Court Judges to advocate for the best interests of children in custody cases in which the issues of and/or between their parents threatens to impede the judge’s inquiry into and determination of the children’s best interests.
What We Do
CAP accepts court appointments to represent any child residing in Mecklenburg County whose parents are engaged in a highly contested custody case. These cases involve high conflicts, sexual or physical abuse allegations, substance abuse allegations, or psychological disorders; often some of the most difficult cases to resolve.
Our program utilizes a structured team approach to investigate each case. Each team consists of a staff attorney, a volunteer attorney, and a lay custody advocate. We investigate all the circumstances and the facts of the case by interviewing clients and collateral witnesses, conducting home visits, gathering a variety of records and documents, which enables us to take a position regarding what is in the children’s best interest.
What We Don’t Do:
- We are unable to take custody related cases over the phone as we only take court-appointed cases.
- We cannot answer custody questions or hear about a case that we have not been appointed to because this can compromise our neutrality if a judge later appoints us to become involved in the case.
- When we are court appointed to a case, we never represent adults or parents involved. We only represent the best interests of the child(ren) involved.
If you have a custody concern, we recommend that you call a private attorney or go to Mecklenburg County’s Self Service Center in the Mecklenburg County Courthouse where you can fill out custody paperwork without having your own attorney.
Be a CAP Volunteer
If you’d like to help, you can become a volunteer attorney or a volunteer advocate. CAP volunteers are highly driven, committed to the well-being of children and, thus, find this volunteer job very rewarding. Onsite CAP training sessions take place twice a year, with videotape training available throughout the year. CAP training sessions are included in the Continuing Legal Education program at a reduced rate for pro bono credit to attorneys who commit to volunteering with our program.
A limited number of internships are available each year. For information on opportunities and application process, as well deadlines for application, visit our Internship Page.