What is the Role of a Mediator in a Divorce?

Megan Shepard - Family Law Attorney

Megan Shepard – Family Law Attorney

When an individual decides to get a divorce from their spouse, visions of ugly courtroom battles and legal maneuvering come to mind. However, what if the time, expense, and drama of a drawn-out courtroom battle can be avoided? What if you could come together with your spouse and iron out the details of your divorce with a neutral third-party? This can be done with mediation. But, how is mediation used in divorce proceedings?

Mediation

To understand how mediation can be used in your divorce from your spouse, its important to first understand what mediation is. Mediation is a form of non-binding alternative dispute resolution that puts you and your spouse in front of a trained professional in an effort to come to a resolution. In order to encourage a positive result, the mediator is a trained expert in finding and negotiating a middle ground that works for all parties involved. However, it is important to note that a mediator is not a judge and cannot issue binding decisions. As such, in order for mediation to work, both parties have to be willing to listen and accept compromises in order to avoid going to court. Additionally, mediation sessions are completely confidential and cannot be used in court proceedings if mediation fails.

Mediation and Divorce

It’s pretty easy to see that mediation is a very useful tool when it comes to divorces. Not only does mediation help a couple have an open discussion about the various issues regarding the divorce, but it also could help avoid a costly and potentially contentious legal battle in court. Generally, successful mediations provide a more positive result and one that is custom tailored by you and your spouse, instead of decided unilaterally by a judge.

Who is involved in Mediation?

When going through divorce mediation, there will several parties involved in the process. First, both spouses will be present at the mediation. Generally, if you have retained a lawyer, the lawyer will be present at the mediation to help guide your through the process and provide valuable legal advice. Finally, the mediator will also be present to facilitate the entire process. Typically, mediators are retired Family Law judges or attorneys who have years of experience handling all the various issues involved in a divorce.

Mediation in North Carolina

Although mediation is strongly encouraged for all matters in a divorce, under North Carolina law, it is only required for certain issues. These issues are:

As you can see, you are only required by law to mediate a couple of things. However, it is strongly encouraged to consider mediating all the issues involved in your divorce because it reduces the time, expense, and stress involved in a divorce.

Contact Us

Contact Us at Minick Law, P.C. to set up a personalized consultation with one of our Family Law attorneys. After speaking with one of our lawyers, you will know the legal standing of your situation and what is best for you.

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