Mediation is becoming a more and more popular option for reaching an agreement in a growing number of North Carolina family law cases. Claims regarding property, money, and child custody are often settled through mediation. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, our attorneys can be your advisors through the mediation process. We are very familiar with the mediation process in North Carolina and can help you to reach a negotiated resolution without ever stepping foot in the courtroom. We are also trained to help you comprehend the facts of your specific situation and understand when it may be advantageous for you to go to court. Additionally, if settlement is reached, our attorneys are prepared to help you draft or review a Separation Agreement and Property Settlement that will legally memorialize your agreement.
In North Carolina, pre-trial mediation has become mandatory in all cases with pending child custody or Equitable Distribution claims. Cases that can settle at mediation are generally less costly, stressful and time consuming for the parties involved. Negotiations and discussions in mediation are confidential and the parties may be able to reach an agreement that may not have been available in court. Furthermore, mediation allows parties to have a say in the final outcome and mutually negotiate the terms of the agreement. In these cases, the parties maintain control of the final settlement and do not put their case in the hands of a judge. However, mediation does not work in every case. In these cases, our attorneys will not hesitate to litigate your case and advocate on your behalf.Quick Facts about Mediation
- Many parties employ a certified private mediator in order to facilitate communications and negotiations. These mediators remain neutral in the proceeding and help the parties come to a resolution when possible.
- Mediation usually consists of a meeting or series of meetings between the parties, their attorneys and a mediator.
- Mediation is available for a number of different issues, such as child custody, visitation, and equitable distribution.
- Although the mediator works to help the parties reach an agreement, an attorney for one of the parties will usually draft the final settlement agreement or Consent Order.
- Mediators receive a substantial amount of training and must be certified by the North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission.
At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we can help you prepare for mediation by clarifying your goals and helping you understand when and where you should be willing to compromise. Even if mediation does not result in an agreement, it may allow both parties to better understand the heart of their dispute. This will allow both sides to better prepare for litigation in order to present their case before a judge.
Mediation can provide an effective means for many couples seeking a divorce settlement. If you feel that mediation may be the best option for your case, contact us today and allow us to represent you throughout the process. Our attorneys are prepared to guide you through the entire process and can help you decide if a mediated resolution is right for you.