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 […]

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 is the true “cost” of Divorce?

The more people/clients I talk to, the more frustrated I become at the heart-wrenching stories of individuals who have been exposed to the “traditional” methods of divorce.  By traditional, I mean divorcing couples who seek out attorneys that will “fight for their rights” to make sure they get the best deal in the divorce, even if it means their spouse will suffer as a consequence. I believe there is a better way – and it is called Collaborative Divorce.  When couples pursue a “traditional” divorce, they make it almost impossible, especially when their are children involved, “to have a civil […]

New York is last state to allow “no-fault” divorce

Gov. David Paterson has signed into law a bill allowing for “no-fault” divorce in New York State.  New York was the last state in the union to allow for such a divorce.  Under the new law, as long as one couple claims that the marriage has been “irretrievably broken” for at least 6 months, the couple can be granted a divorce. Welcome to the 21st century, New York.  Although New York is the last state to allow for a “no-fault” divorce, many other states, including North Carolina, require a one year separation period.  I have had numerous clients ask me […]

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 #3: Account for the Family Finances

In this third of a series of “How to Prepare for Divorce” Tips, I recommend that you begin gathering information about your families finances.  One of the primary functions of the divorce process is to make a division of the assets and debts of the marriage. In order to get a fair division, you must know what there is to divide. This is a three-step process: A.    Determine what you own. Many of the assets of the marriage will be obvious – the home in which you reside, financial accounts, vehicles, recreational vehicles, etc.  Others may not be so obvious […]

Why a Collaborative Divorce is right for you… and me.

One of the reasons many lawyers get a bad rap is the sense that they can’t be trusted.  You may think they are being nice to you, perhaps even showing some interest in you, but when you turn around they proceed to stab you in the back. I’ll freely admit that I have been burned by other attorneys that I thought I trusted, but time and experience have taught me to be careful when I’m talking to other attorneys about a case.  An experience I had this week illustrates what I am talking about.  I was hired by a client […]

Warning Signs of Domestic Violence

Earlier this week, a woman in Johnston County and her 14 year old son were shot and killed by her estranged husband, who then shot and killed himself. Ironically, according to the story from the Raleigh News & Observer, Devinee House was at the final stages of completing her divorce the night the shooting occurred.  Her attorney, Bob Spence, said that when she came to see him on Monday, she was in a good mood and happy that their divorce paperwork was almost complete. This sad and tragic event underscores the importance of recognizing the warning signs of possible domestic […]