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 the best interests of children whose parents are engaged in high-conflict custody cases in Mecklenburg County. These cases can involve allegations such as sexual or physical abuse, substance abuse, parental alienation, mental health issues, living conditions, and domestic violence, and are 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, and 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.

Project Frequency


Project Time Commitment

For the life of a case, which varies. Generally between 12 and 24 months.

Project Location


Area of Law

  • Domestic and Sexual Violence
  • Family

Geographic Areas

  • Mecklenburg

Project For

Population Served

  • Children/Youth
  • Domestic and Sexual Violence Survivors

Skills to be Developed

  • Client Advice and Counseling
  • Client Intake and Interviewing
  • Legal Research and Writing
  • Training Provided for Project Volunteers
  • Volunteers Who Speak an Additional Language Requested for this Project
  • Malpractice Insurance Provided for this Project
  • Mentorship Provided for this Project