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Mediation & Arbitration

McKnight Law helps separated couples avoid litigation through mediation and arbitration.

Mediation and Arbitration in Wake County

Years ago, going to court to complete a divorce was common. Now, many couples use alternative dispute resolutions when divorcing. Through mediation and arbitration, you can iron out the issues involved in the divorce without using a courtroom. North Carolina law requires that parties involved in custody and equitable distribution claims go to mediation. In addition, couples can choose to go to arbitration to decide on various issues related to the separation.

Benefits of Mediation and Arbitration

Numerous North Carolina residents choose mediation and arbitration due to the benefits. Some benefits include:

  • Less expensive
  • Faster
  • Private

In addition, mediation and arbitration allow you to protect your children from litigation. If you would like to enjoy these benefits and more, contact us today.

Mediation In North Carolina

Mediation is mandatory for equitable distribution and custody cases.

For equitable distribution claims, a neutral third-party mediator will help facilitate the negotiations between you, your lawyer, and the other side. At first, you’ll likely go into a room with just your attorney. Then, the mediator will go from room to room to discuss the negotiations while your attorney provides legal guidance.

Your attorney is not allowed to be present during mandatory custody mediation. However, you can seek an attorney’s advice prior to the proceedings. If mandatory custody mediation is not successful, your attorney will represent you at a private mediation and/or all future court appearances.

Mediation, in and of itself, is not legally binding. However, you can create a document following mediation that is legally binding. If you and the other party agree to terms, your attorney can formalize the agreement and have both parties sign it.

Family Law Arbitration

North Carolina law allows you to go through arbitration to resolve the issues that come up in (or in many cases after) divorce. Unlike mediation, the arbitrator makes a decision that is legally binding.

The first step is to choose an arbitrator to oversee the process and prepare for your case. Arbitration is much like a trial, with both sides filing motions and preparing discovery before the hearing. Then, the sides present their cases during the arbitration hearing.

The arbitrator listens to the evidence and then provides a ruling which is final and in almost all cases, not appealable. Courts will recognize and enforce valid arbitration rulings.

How Long Do Arbitration And Mediation Take?

The length of arbitration and mediation depends on various factors, including the complexity of the divorce and how far apart the sides are in negotiations. Mediation or Arbitration typically requires a single session that lasts for most, if not all, of the day. Sometimes these proceedings take two or more days to complete. Your mediation and arbitration lawyer can evaluate your case and give a basic timeline of what to expect.

What If You Can’t Agree During Mediation?

Many former couples are successful during mediation. Of course, that’s not always the case. If you cannot come to an agreement during mediation, you can arbitrate the case if you wish, and the arbitrator will give a ruling that you must follow. You can also choose to litigate the divorce and let a judge decide. Your mediation and arbitration lawyer will go over your options with you.

Attorney John McKnight is very professional! He helped myself and my family get through a difficult situation. I highly recommend McKnight Law and his staff to get the job done.

— Christine M.

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