Katherine Frye

Katherine Frye is a North Carolina attorney and board certified specialist in Family Law. She will be teaching a course called “Child Custody: Start to finish…is there an end?” at Solo Practice University®. View Syllabus

Katherine received her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After graduation, Katherine went directly to law school and graduated from The Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law. While in law school, Katherine participated in the National and Regional Advocacy Competitions and received the honor of the Order of Old Kivett for her superior performance.

After graduating from law school, Katherine immediately started a law firm with a fellow classmate. Two years later, Katherine started her own law firm, Frye Law Offices, P.A. Her practice specializes in all aspects of family law, including separation, divorce, child custody and visitation, child support, post separation support and alimony, and property distribution. Katherine is a North Carolina Board Certified Specialist in Family Law. In addition, Katherine is a North Carolina Dispute Resolution Certified Family Financial Mediator. Her practice has been limited to family law for almost ten years.

During her career, Katherine has served as the State Chair of the Silent Partners Program, which is a division of the Young Lawyers Division of the North Carolina Bar Association. More recently, Katherine served as the Wake County representative for the Silent Partners Program for over three years. Katherine has also participated in other projects such as “Lunch with a Lawyer,” where she was paired with a teenage child to mentor, and Katherine and her former partner conducted seminars at Campbell Law School to advise other lawyers on starting their own law firm. Katherine is a frequent speaker at continuing legal education courses related to family law and at seminars geared to attorneys who have decided to start their own firm.

Syllabus: Child Custody: Start to finish…is there an end???

The law on child custody

  • Best interest standard
    • What does that mean?
    • How do I prove it?
  • Federal Statutes on Custody
    • UCCJEA
    • PKPA
  • Besides parents, who can bring a custody action
    • Grandparents
    • Step-parents
    • Other 3rd Parties

Preparing the case for trial: part one

  • The initial interview and follow up
  • Setting a theme/strategy
  • Other balls to get rolling: assessments, private investigators, etc.
  • Addressing bad habits
  • Preparing to gather evidence
  • Use of a guardian ad litem or parent coordinator early in the process

Custodial Evaluations

  • What are they and what is the process?
  • In what situations are they most helpful?
  • How do I get the Court to order one?
  • One has been ordered, what next?
  • The results are in, so what is next?
  • How to use at trial
  • Fighting the results of the evaluation

Experts for your child custody trial—how to prepare them, examine them, and cross examine them at trial

  • Psychologists/psychiatrists/MSWs
    • Locating and securing an expert who can help with your issues
    • Privilege issues
    • What do they need to form their opinion?
    • Can the court appoint them so that more information is available?
    • What will the opinion actually be?
    • Expert witness or fact witness?
    • Background—expert on what specific area
    • What/who didn’t they see or what can’t they testify to?
    • Are they trying to do the judge’s job?
  • Private investigators
    • Verify credentials
    • Person testifying match with person who prepared report
    • Information found
    • What they did not do or did not see

Parental Alienation

  • What is it and how can I recognize it?
  • How do I address in court and in practice?
  • Use of expert to recognize and address
  • How do address alienation with your own client?

Getting to Settlement

  • Talking with your client and opposing counsel
  • Mediation? Arbitration?
  • Facing the reality of going to court and ramifications of court on the children

Preparing the case for trial: part two

  • Pretrial hearings
  • Preparing your fact witnesses and expert witnesses
  • Child testimony
  • Preparing exhibits
  • Telling the story at trial
  • Basic trial tips

Post trial work

  • Preparing the order
  • Getting the order to all interested parties
  • Executing the order
  • Addressing post trial issues with your client—both immediate and distant