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.


Arbitration is a voluntary and binding process that occurs outside the supervision of the court. In the case of arbitration, the divorcing parties hand over the power to settle the dispute to an arbitrator, a neutral third party who acts much like a trial judge or jury. It can be formal or informal and includes evidence, opposing arguments, and a written arbitration award.

Advantages of arbitration include:

  • It can be utilized after initial settlement attempts or if mediation has failed
  • Ensures the resolution of disputed matters quickly and at a lower cost
  • Both parties choose their arbitrator, providing greater confidence in the decision resolution process
  • It is conducted in a private, neutral environment


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)

Consent Orders

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.

When we needed an attorney recently we contacted Kellie Gonzalez and could not have been more pleased with our interactions with her and the outcome she obtained for us.

From the very beginning, she was professional, understanding, and took great care to explain the legal process to us. She went far beyond what one would normally expect from an attorney and in doing so successfully achieved the goal we hoped for. We highly recommend Kellie Gonzalez for any occasion that calls for an attorney. – K, Family Law Client

I am writing to thank all of you, for assisting with the completion of the will and other key documents.

I appreciated the time, effort, patience, and the many questions answered which were all associated with this process. It is finally “done” and I can now relax and feel that my kids will be appropriately protected. Thanks again for your dedication, attention and positive experience! I’ll be sure to refer others to your office!! – D, Estate Planning Client

They were wonderful. Very efficient and great communicators.

I was very nervous about this process and they made it very simple and took all of the guesswork out of it. I will definitely use them again. – C, Will Preparation Client

Received a speeding ticket while passing through NC.

Was required to personally show in court or hire legal representation. Living 10 hours away, I opted for the latter. Great decision, but hiring them to represent me was a better one. They resolved my case much better than I could have ever hoped. Courteous, professional and obviously capable. – G, Out of State Traffic Violation Client

We used Kellie as our real estate attorney when purchasing a home.

Kellie and her staff walked us through the entire process from start to finish and promptly answered all our questions or concerns! I would highly recommend using her team to anyone looking for a real estate attorney! – M, Real Estate Closing Client

Call us today at (252) 296-1200 to discuss your case with Capital to Coast NC Law Group and to find out how we can help you win your case through arbitration or mediation. We have offices located in Cary, NC Greenville, NC and Emerald Isle, NC.

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