Back in 1996, North Carolina engaged in a redesign of the in-state legal system. At the conclusion of this process, the Commission for the Future of Justice and the Courts in North Carolina issued a report, titled “Without Favor, Denial or Delay,” outlining a number of recommendations to overhaul the state legal system.
Among those recommendations, the Commission called for the creation of a unified court system for family law that reached across North Carolina. Before North Carolina established a statewide, unified system for family court, domestic claims were rarely heard in the same courtroom.
The spouses would file for divorce and divide up marital property before one judge. Then another judge could hear the child custody case. A third judge might end up presiding over any claims for child support. In cases of domestic violence, there was likely a fourth judge involved.