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Child Support & Custody Lawyer in Winston-Salem

A Better Approach to Ensuring Your Child’s Best Interests

Conflicts involving children often cause stress and heated arguments. At the Winston-Salem law firm of Hartsoe & Associates, our main message to divorce clients experiencing conflict related to custody and child support is this: This does not have to be a war. Our firm can help you focus on reasonable resolutions instead of all-or-nothing battles.

The future of your family is important to us, just as it is important to you.

Our role is to help you understand your realistic options with regard to child support and child custody. Understanding your options will help you make decisions that have the best chance for long-term success and ones that are in the best interests of your children.

Our law firm also offers mediation and arbitration services. Our lead attorney is a certified family law mediator through the state of North Carolina. Contact us to learn more.

Understanding Child Custody & Visitation

North Carolina family court judges will make child custody and visitation decisions based on their determination of the best interests of the children. Except in cases of abuse and neglect, there is no longer a presumption that the children's mother should have primary custody. Instead, both parents should examine their wishes with regard to parenting time along with the children's preferences and the parents' long-term plans regarding work and living situations.

How Is Child Custody Determined?

The rule of thumb is always to decide what is in the child’s best interests. If parents are unable to come to an agreement, they may be required to attend mediation to help them reach that point. Past that point, they will need to bring their claims to court to determine what will be best for the child.

Some of the factors a judge will consider include:

  • A history of abuse
  • If the parent can foster a sense of stability for the child
  • How the parent plans to financially provide for the child
  • The child’s current home environment
  • The child’s wishes

How these issues are decided does matter. A parenting agreement you reach through a negotiated compromise has a better chance of working well in the long run than an arrangement imposed on you by a judge. The process of reaching an agreement may be full of emotional turmoil, but it is often worth it.

Seeking Full Custody in North Carolinaparent enjoying spending time with child, as child rides bike

Unfortunately, North Carolina laws on child custody do not permit joint custody. The alternative is to give primary custody to one parent, with the other parent having secondary custody.

Navigating the Challenges of Child Support

While it may seem that child support is a straightforward issue, this is often not the case. For example, if you believe your spouse is hiding income or is purposefully unemployed or underemployed, we may be able to help trace income sources and construct a strong argument that your spouse should be required to pay more.

Self-employment adds all kinds of challenges to the computation of the amount of income to be plugged into the child support calculation. As child support attorneys in Winston-Salem, NC, we are familiar with the various ways people might try to suppress or hide income, and we are aggressive about pursuing the necessary information to determine the truth.

Our custody and child support lawyers in Winston-Salem strive to:

  • Respond immediately
  • Be as accessible as possible
  • Provide experienced legal counsel you deserve
  • Be as compassionate and understanding as possible

Child custody and support are some of the most important issues that go along with divorce or separation. Our team at Hartsoe & Associates is confident we can help you through it and achieve a favorable outcome.

For guidance on your unique situation – whether you need help with an initial determination or a modification – call (336) 390-4774. We assist clients throughout the Piedmont Triad Area, including Winston-Salem and Greensboro.

  • I would definitely recommend a consultation with this firm.

    “I met with two representatives from the firm and they patiently answered all of my questions and asked me several more questions pertaining to my situation. I am very impressed with the candid discussion including what to expect with regard to the costs associated with my case. I would definitely recommend a consultation with this firm.”


  • Tara took the time a explained everything and guided me toward the best options

    “I was recommended by a family friend and was very happy with the services provided, Tara took the time a explained everything and guided me toward the best options as far as my case was concerned.”


  • They reply quick to all of my concerns, and always happy to help whenever i need any clarification

    “The office of Hartsoe & Associates is a great place to have consultation or work done. They reply quick to all of my concerns, and always happy to help whenever i need any clarification.”


  • He was straight forward, honest, and very easy to talk to

    “Upon meeting Mr. Hartsoe he was very pleasant in his greeting. During the consultation he was straight forward, honest, and very easy to talk to. So far so good and I look forward to working with him and his team in the future!”


  • I felt like Mr Hartsoe really had my best interest in mind.

    “Very helpful in explaining complicated legal procedures in an easily understandable way. I felt like Mr Hartsoe really had my best interest in mind.”


  • I cannot express in words how confident you will feel by having Tara in charge of your case

    “Tara Kay Johnson did an awesome job! If you're like me, you didn't think something like this would happen to you, but there you are at that moment in your life with a lot of questions and very few answers... doubt and emotion starts to take over, but fear not. As with many folks who have to go through this unfortunate event in your life, you want the strongest and most well-respected representation you can find. That is exactly what I received. Tara will listen to your concerns and stand up for you, while at the same time she will also recommend the absolute best course of action. I cannot express in words how confident you will feel by having Tara in charge of your case. During my case, there was not a single moment where I felt vulnerable or a moment where I wondered what the outcome would be. Tara and her very well-educated staff were with me every step of the way. Communication and support was excellent throughout the entire process. The bottom line is: If you or someone you know is heading down the tough road to divorce, then you need the BEST guide you can find, and that is Tara Kay Johnson.”


  • He was so very informative, patient, well-spoken and kind-hearted.

    “Upon first contact with Hartsoe & Associates, PC, I spoke with Debbie. She was very kind and attentive. I had an appointment for a consultation almost immediately. On the day of my consult, I met with Mr. Tony Hartsoe. He was so very informative, patient, well-spoken and kind-hearted. Because my situation is so sensitive, Mr. Hartsoe treated me with the utmost respect. As I, myself, have worked for several attorneys in my years, I can honestly say Hartsoe & Associates are a rare breed these days.”

    Former Client

  • Very knowledgeable and reliable

    “Very knowledgeable and reliable! They have represented me numerous times and I have always been impressed with the results!”


  • Very Professional and informative

    “Very Professional and informative. Touched on all aspects of separation. Looking forward to working with them.”


  • Thank you for all your help!

    “We sought Mr. Rainey to help to obtain a custody agreement for my child... He helped us achieve our goal and was open and honest in every answer he gave regarding my concerns. I had consulted with others who made it seem like some of my concerns were unwarranted and that some of my requests were totally unachievable but Mr. Rainey made me feel at ease and was able to explain things to me in a more 'caring' aspect even if the answer wasn't one I would've preferred to hear. I appreciate his methods and should we need to seek further representation I wouldn't think twice to retain him for my future needs! Thank you for all your help!”

    Steve G.