Getting a divorce in North Carolina requires mediation for certain parts of the divorce process. Divorce mediation provides you and your spouse with the chance to decide certain matters of your own divorce and to determine what is best for both of you and your children.
During the North Carolina divorce mediation process, you and your spouse will meet with the mediator, a neutral third party who is usually a retired judge or a NC family lawyer who doesn’t have any participation in your case. The purpose of mediation is to work through the issues necessary for the resolution of your divorce so you can amicably and cost-effectively end your marriage.
What Issues Can Mediation Resolve?
In general, divorce mediation in NC covers the following issues:
- Distribution of Property (Assets/Liabilities): This includes your houses, cars, loans, credit cards, etc.
- Child Custody and Parenting Time: This is to determine where your children will live and how you will parent your children after the divorce.
- Child Support/Maintenance: Child support and alimony can also be something that is agreed to during mediation.
- Retirement: Division of pensions and 401K plans can be negotiated.
- Taxes: Who will pay the current years taxes and any tax burdens you have can be added to a separation agreement.
While some agreements can come easy, some may take a lot of time and work. The mediator can help you and your spouse work out your agreements on certain issues without having to go to trial. The divorce mediator keeps the communication lines open between the divorcing parties, brainstorm ideas, teach empathy, conducts reality tests, and assists the couple in making decisions.
Role of a Divorce Mediator in North Carolina
A mediator helps keep the divorcing couples focused on the issues at hand and helps them stay on track. The mediator typically meets with the couple separately and listens to the concerns and needs of both sides while trying to reach the best possible agreement. You can’t expect mediators to provide you with legal advice because they are neutral parties.
Being flexible and confidential in nature, NC divorce mediation allows you to peacefully settle the conflict between you and your soon-to-be former spouse. If a settlement cannot be reached through mediation, you’ll move forward to another step of the divorce process which is litigation.
In the litigation process (which can be avoided if a settlement was reached in mediation) is series of trials or hearings will take place before the court judge. The judge will ultimately decide the division of property, child custody and visitation, alimony, amount of child support, and all your other divorce-related issues.
What If Mediation Fails?
Divorce battles in court are emotionally, mentally and physically exhausting and can drain your financial resources. Mediation is a way of resolving issues between you and your spouse peacefully and without a trial. At McIlveen Family Law Firm, we will help you find that all-important middle ground. If mediation fails, however, our experienced attorneys are more than ready to aggressively fight court battles to protect the best interests of our clients. Contact us at our office today to discuss your divorce-related matters.