Alternative Dispute Resolution

Should you go to court? How do you decide?

Should you go to court? How do you decide?

Getting a family law or divorce case to settlement is a long, windy road, with lots of points along the way for you to turn off and settle your case. But how do you make that decision?  Should you go to court?  How do you know when it is time to settle your case? The answer to those questions is difficult and one that you will need to talk to your lawyer about, but here are some things you need to think about on your own as well. Recognize that you have choices in your divorce Just because you have […]

How does divorce mediation work in North Carolina?

How does divorce mediation work in North Carolina?

Excellent question, and unfortunately, the answer is not a simple one.  Divorce mediation can take on many different sizes and shapes.  In certain situations, lawyers are present, in others lawyers are not present.  The mediator may be a lawyer, or they may not be.  Here is a quick rundown of all the different mediation options available to couples that are thinking about a divorce: Voluntary, pre-filing mediation – There are many people in North Carolina that have a fairly uncomplicated situation.  Resolving their case may not be difficult, but for whatever reason, the spouses can not reach a resolution on […]

Child Custody in Cary

I just finished watching another heart-breaking loss by my favorite professional football team – but what has me torn up more than that was how one of the announcers was telling the story of one of the players and what a great person he was be cause he just finished a two year custody battle in which he “won” custody of his child. Why is it that in the traditional legal arena, one parent has to “lose” in a custody fight?  If you ask me, both parents and the kids lose when a family has to go through a custody […]

Divorce Mediation in Cary

I’ve written on the topic of divorce mediation several times, and I’m writing again today because I feel that this is a topic that deserves a great deal of attention, especially here in Wake County, North Carolina.  I strongly believe that divorcing couples should be able to dictate the terms of their separation, and the attorneys involved should assist the parties in reaching an amicable settlement without the need for court. (I should mention, even as I write this, that I have a case scheduled for court next week – I can’t promise that divorce mediation will work in every […]

Divorce and Child Custody in Cary

One of the scariest parts of getting divorced is the legal limbo that you go through while waiting for matters of Child Custody to get sorted out.  Whether you live in Cary or Raleigh, if you choose to get this sorted out in the courts, you will be in front of one of the family law judges in Wake County District Court. Child Custody is probably one of the most stressful and highly litigated aspects of divorce that I see, and with a 12 week old son at home, I can understand why.  One of the biggest joys I get […]

What happens at the first Collaborative Divorce Meeting?

Ok – so you’ve made the smart decision to proceed with a collaborative divorce.  You’ve talked to your attorney, your spouse is on board as is their attorney, and you’ve gathered all the documents you need for that first 4-way meeting.  Now what? You may be feeling a little nervous, anxious, and perhaps a bit queesy.  This is all perfectly normal.  Imagine how you would feel before going in to have a judge decide when you will get to see your kids?  Now you feel better – right? Here is a quick rundown of what happens at that first collaborative […]

Easy tools to make post divorce transfers easier for the kids

I’ve had several cases settle recently that involved kids, and many more that I am working on right now.  Because spouses are required to separate for one year before obtaining a divorce in North Carolina, the reality of the situation dictates that many spouses are required to deal with the children’s issues almost right away.  Hand in hand with the child support issue is custody of the children and how to handle visitation. Frequently, kids are shuffled from one household to another.  This can be extremely stressful for the parents and kids alike.  Rosalind Sedacca has written an article that […]

What is Divorce Mediation – Does the North Carolina method work?

I didn’t realize until I had moved to North Carolina and reopened my family law practice here just how many meanings there are to the word mediation.  Lets start with a basic definition – a mediation is a form of non-binding dispute resolution where the parties meet with a neutral mediator to help them resolve the dispute.  Seems pretty straight-forward, doesn’t it? When I practiced in Florida, every family law case that was filed was required to go to mediation prior to appearing in Court.  Those mediations involved both parties, usually their attorneys, and a mediator.  Everyone met in one […]

Preparing for Divorce – The Final Tip: Be Good!

This is the last in a series of blog posts I have written during the past several weeks on how to prepare for divorce and separation.  Today’s tip focuses on the practical – be on your best behavior while going through the middle of a divorce.  Whether you are considering a collaborative divorce, or a more “old school” divorce, the idea here is the same – be good! You are about to be put under a microscope.  You are reading this blog, so I assume that you may be facing a divorce and you want this unpleasant process to be […]

How to prepare for divorce tip #12: Keep a Diary

This is the second to last in a series of tips for individuals who are considering separating from their spouse, and ultimately, divorcing them.  Many of the steps that I have provided in this series are geared toward preparing you for litigating your case, but I need to stress that I believe strongly in keeping divorce cases out of the courts through a dispute resolution technique known as Collaborative Divorce. Today’s tip asks you to keep a diary of major events that occur during the course of your separation and divorce.  Your lawyer may want your help in reconstructing a […]