Deciding to get a divorce is never easy. It can be a difficult and emotionally charged time for everyone involved. While every couple’s journey may be different, going to court isn’t the only option. In some cases, divorcing spouses may benefit from avoiding a court battle and settling their differences through mediation.
Several factors differentiate mediation from the traditional court process. At Teddy, Meekins & Talbert, P.L.L.C., we want you to understand your options and make the right choice for you. We’ve compiled a few things to consider to help you determine whether mediation can help you resolve the issues that arise during your divorce.
What Is Divorce Mediation?
Mediation is a process that enables divorcing couples to resolve their issues with the help of a trained and neutral third-party mediator. Mediation is a much more informal process than court litigation. It can include just the spouses and the mediator or the spouses and their attorneys and the mediator. The mediator is there to facilitate communication and help each side reach an amicable divorce agreement.
How Do Spouses Choose a Mediator?
Choosing the right mediator is crucial. The mediator needs to be impartial and neutral. If you are working with an attorney, it may be best to ask them for their recommendations. Mediators can also be found online or through recommendations from the court system. The North Carolina Judicial Branch has resources available for those looking for an impartial mediator.
How Does Mediation Work in NC?
Mediation works by bringing together the parties seeking a divorce and the neutral mediator. The parties meet to discuss their situation and expectations for the divorce. The mediator will facilitate open and honest communication and try to get each side to see the other person’s point of view. During this time, the couple will discuss and try to work out solutions to the division of assets, custody agreements, parenting schedules, and more.
Mediation is about getting both sides to agree on the outcome of the divorce. If the court approves the terms of the agreement, the settlement can then be enforced just like any other court order.
What Are Some Benefits of Mediation?
Some benefits to mediation during a divorce include:
- Cost – Mediation is typically less expensive than litigation.
- Speed – Mediation is generally faster than the divorce court process.
- Privacy – Mediation is confidential, whereas going to court is a matter of public record.
- Communication – Mediation encourages productive conversation and compromise.
Most Common Divorce-Related Issues
Spouses going through a divorce can get stuck on any number of issues, but some of the most common problems that come up in a divorce include:
- Property division
- Child custody and visitation
- Child support
- Spousal support
- Communication problems
- Relocation decisions if children are involved
How Long Does Divorce Mediation Take in NC?
The mediation process can be accomplished much more quickly than typical court proceedings. There is no waiting for court dates. The parties simply schedule a mutually convenient date.
Some mediations result in a settlement in a matter of hours. In more complicated cases, it may take several sessions. The process depends on the circumstances of the divorce and how willing the parties are to communicate and compromise with each other.
Contact Our Lawyers Today for Help with Your Case
An attorney can be a powerful ally during divorce mediation. Your lawyer can help you navigate the process, explain your rights, look out for your best interests, ensure you understand every detail of a divorce agreement, and submit the final agreement to the court.
If you think divorce is the only option left, contact an experienced family law attorney at Teddy, Meekins & Talbert, P.L.L.C. We can review your situation and find solutions that offer the best chance at a positive outcome. Contact us today for more information.
A native of Lincoln County, Meredith A Shuford is proud to work for the people in the community where she was raised and has chosen to raise her family. Ms. Shuford’s desire to assist those in crisis is paramount to her decision to focus on family law.