Married couples in North Carolina may find themselves heading for divorce. Those who have children will need to go through mediation for child custody issues. In the state, mediation is mandatory for divorcing parents.
What is child custody mediation?
Child custody mediation is an alternative to traditional family court custody hearings. When a couple with children goes through a divorce, by North Carolina law, they must undergo mediation to come to an agreement about custody matters. Each party meets with a mediator, a neutral third party, to rationally discuss the situation and make decisions on child custody.
How can child custody mediation benefit you?
There are certain benefits that you and your former spouse can get from child custody mediation. Your child can also benefit in the long run.
Ideally, you and your ex are able to work together to come up with a plan that works for both of you and for your child. As a result, you can skip all the negative aspects associated with having to go through court. Things are less stressful, and you can avoid making rash decisions that might come back to haunt you later on. Working together as parents through mediation can be the best thing for your family even though you and your spouse are going through a divorce.
Is mediation a requirement?
In North Carolina, child custody mediation is a requirement for all parents who are getting divorced. The only exception to the rule is if a judge decides that mediation should be waived. Mediation is only waved based on certain situations, including abuse within the family, serious drug or alcohol addiction, serious psychiatric problems, living over 50 miles away from the court, or agreeing to attend private mediation sessions.
Once you and your ex have filed for child custody, you must attend orientation followed by a first mediation session. After you have mutually come to an agreement, your mediator will create a parenting agreement to be signed by both of you and, later, a judge.
Mediation can greatly benefit your entire family. When you can reach an agreement in a rational, peaceful manner, it can improve your relationship with your child and make the transition period easier.