Arbitration & Mediation & Consent Orders
Though similar, arbitration and mediation are different means by which to settle disputes during the process of divorce in North Carolina. Resolution of divorce disputes through these means is private, less expensive, and more efficient than going through a trial.
Regarding mediation, the parties retain their right to decide whether or not to agree to a settlement. The mediator does not have the power to impose a resolution, but they are there to persuade and to provide assistance. The mediator will work with both individuals in order to facilitate communication, promote understanding, and ultimately – to explore settlement options. All settlements reached through mediation are memorialized in a written settlement agreement.
Mediation is successful in settling a variety of disputes, including:
- Post-Separation Support and Alimony
- Alienation of Affection and Criminal Conversation
- Child Custody
- Child Support
- Equitable Distribution
- Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO)
A consent order is an order of the court that is signed by a judge without a trial, containing all of the same effects as a court order that has been established after a trial. Consent orders can only be entered after a child custody lawsuit has been filed, and it is simply part of the settlement process. We recommend requesting a consent order when dealing with an unreliable spouse who may have a history of substance abuse, domestic violence, mental health issues – or are simply unpredictable. Whether or not you are suited for a consent order is determined on a case by case basis.