Litigation can be expensive, stressful and time consuming – for many people, mediation can be the more manageable path forward.
Many practitioners and professionals agree that the courtroom is not the ideal place to resolve a family matter. The nature of litigation is adversarial – each party presenting his/her best version of the case to a judge who then attempts to determine the facts and render a judgment. Frequently in family law, this involves making deeply personal issues a part of the public record. The animosity created can have long lasting detrimental effects not only on the parties but also on their children, and can make co-parenting extremely difficult.
In many cases, resolutions can be reached without ever setting foot in a courtroom – through mediation. Parents or spouses can agree to attend private mediation at anytime, regardless of whether or not a lawsuit has been filed. If a lawsuit has been filed, the parties will be ordered by the court to attend mediation as it relates to any pending custody or equitable distribution case.
Depending on the issues to be mediated, mediation may be scheduled for half a day, a full day, or multiple days. Unless the parties have agreed otherwise, each party typically pays half of the mediator’s fee at the conclusion of mediation. The parties may attend mediation alone, or they can retain attorneys to accompany and advise them. The mediator will give each side the opportunity to talk about the case and will then work to find resolutions to their issues, helping the parties to find common ground and move toward an agreement.
In mediation, the individuals take ownership of the outcome of their case, instead of placing their future in the hands of a third-party judge or arbitrator. Settlement can bring closure and allow all parties to move on – often without the resentment and expense that frequently accompanies litigation.
Contact our firm today to schedule mediation with our NC DRC certified family financial mediator.