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Child Support & Custody Lawyer in Winston-Salem

A Better Approach to Ensuring Your Child’s Best Interests

Child CustodyConflicts 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.

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.

Best Interest of the Child

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.

North Carolina Child Custody Laws

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

Child Support AgreementWhile 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.

Contact us for guidance on your unique situation. We assist clients throughout the Piedmont Triad Area, including Winston-Salem and Greensboro.

  • Mr. Hartsoe treated me with the utmost respect.

    “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 imformative, 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.”

    Paula H.

  • Tony will always be the person/firm on which we rely.

    “Tony has represented me and members of my family for over 10 years and we have always been so grateful for his work. His concern for the client become obvious as does his wealth of experience which allows him to guide you effectively. He will tell you what you need to hear, not just what you want to hear. When my sister and I attempted to deal with my dad's bank, after his death, we were being simply taken advantage of! Despite our appears and offers to resolve the matter, we could not bring the matter to resolution. Tony took the matter and it was handled, to our satisfaction, quickly and without any negative impact to us. From traffic violations to tax and estate planning, Tony will always be the person/firm on which we rely.”

    Michael B.

  • He is very knowledgeable and open to considering all possible solutions to a problem

    “I hired Rick Scott at Hartsoe & Associates for what proved to be a somewhat complicated divorce. He he was able to explain to me what I was legally entitled to, what the law required, what outcomes would be reasonable to expect, and what my options were along every step of the way. He worked hard to help develop a fair settlement offer. He is very knowledgeable and open to considering all possible solutions to a problem. Everybody in the office is responsive and courteous. I am glad that I chose to work with them and would recommend them to anyone who is unfortunately in need of a family lawyer”


  • I couldn't be happier in the outcomes of our case

    “I'm more than pleased with the hard work and dedication I received from them. Joe Schmitz of Hartsoe & Associates was magnificent in court and pushed his way through for us throughout our continuing battle. I couldn't be happier in the outcomes of our case. I'm glad that I chose Hartsoe & Associates from all the others in the Winston-Salem area and surrounding. I got every penny's worth.”


  • Very Professional and informative

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


  • James as a lawyer was great to work with and I highly recommend Hartsoe for any family law matters you may have.

    “James Downey from Hartsoe and assoc. represented me in a child custody and support case and was excellent to work with. Never in a million years did I think things would have gotten as hard and stressful as they did but James and everyone involved in my case were fantastic. Lisa the paralegal was great along with Debbie at reception and everyone I encountered at Hartsoe. James as a lawyer was great to work with and I highly recommend Hartsoe for any family law matters you may have. Thanks again guys! I hope I don’t need a lawyer again but if I do I know where I’ll go.”

    Jason W.

  • Divorce is a subject matter that requires the expertise, the sensitivity, the many concerns and a very good listener when dealing with this as you drive down this beaten path to try and reach the other end.

    “Tony Hartsoe not only met those qualities, he also excelled and went above and beyond to make this path less challenging.”

    Turner T.

  • 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.”


  • 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.

  • 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.”