During child custody negotiations in North Carolina, you and your former spouse will have to figure out how you’re going to co-parent your child. In most cases, the judge will require you to figure out your child custody situation through mediation. However, there are some exceptions to this rule.
Do you have to go through child custody mediation?
In most situations, a judge will require both parties to attend child custody mediation. This gives you the chance to figure out a custody and co-parenting plan without going to court. You’ll also get more freedom to make a decision since you’re not requiring a judge to make the final ruling.
If you and your custody attorney don’t think that it’s in your best interests to go through mediation, you could request a waiver. The judge might waive the requirement if your former spouse is abusive, mentally ill or a drug addict. They could also waive the requirement if you live at least fifty miles away from the court. You could also request a waiver if you and your former spouse have simply chosen a private mediator and don’t need to go through court-appointed sessions.
Will mediation help your case?
Without mediation, your case would have to go straight to court. This means that a judge would decide who gets custody and make other parenting decisions. If you and your former spouse can negotiate for custody through mediation, you’ll have much more influence over the final decision.
Going through mediation can also help you avoid court fees and other expenses. You might still have to hire an attorney, but your case won’t turn into a year-long trial. You could figure out a custody agreement, finalize your divorce and get back to raising your kids and figuring out your next steps.