Mediation is a process where a third party neutral assists the parties in an attempt to reach a resolution without formal court hearings and trials. North Carolina requires that parties with child custody issues participate in child custody mediation. The only topic discussed in mediation is custody. This requirement can be waived under these circumstances: one party lives more than 50 miles from court; one of the parties suffers from alcoholism, abuses drugs, or abuses the other party; one of the parties abuses or neglects the children; one of the parties suffers from psychological, psychiatric, or emotional problems. Attorneys do not attend child custody mediation. Unfortunately, there are instances when parties are unable to resolve their child custody issues at the conclusion of the mediation process. In those instances, the matter will proceed to a hearing or trial. It is always better for parents to agree to a child custody arrangement at mediation rather than have a judge, who knows nothing about you and your situation, decide when and for how long you get to be with your child. I strongly encourage my clients to try to reach a custody agreement during the mediation process.
Alimony and property division must also go through the mediation process before a trial can be had on the merits. During this process, Rutherford Robertson, P.A. will assess the value of your assets and liabilities in an attempt to uncover and fairly distribute them among the parties.
Related services are: Child Custody and Property Division