If you plan to divorce your spouse in North Carolina, you may think the ensuing process will be contentious. But it doesn’t have to be. Although you want to protect your interests, selecting an alternative means of negotiation, such as mediation, can make the process smoother.
What is divorce mediation?
Divorce mediation is an alternative negotiation method where a neutral third party helps a couple arrive at a mutual agreement for the property, plus child custody and spousal maintenance, if applicable.
Mediators cannot make decisions for the two sides in a divorce case. Still, they can make both sides understand the priorities and issues at stake, clear up misconceptions, and often offer ideas on reaching a compromise.
Benefits of mediation
Mediation is a less adversarial form of divorce negotiations, but it also has several other benefits, including:
- Typically costs less than litigation or collaborative divorce
- You and your spouse have more control over the process
- Less emotionally harmful for children
- Can assist both sides in acknowledging feelings
Even if your marriage is involved domestic violence, mediation can still be an option. Al it takes are two parties who are willing to reach an agreement. If mediation doesn’t work out, you can still head to court to litigate your agreement.
Preparing for mediation
When a divorce goes to litigation, years can pass before it is finalized. Mediation and other alternative negotiation forms can considerably shorten the process. The quicker the resolution, the sooner you can begin healing and getting on with your life. Every situation is slightly different, but you can usually expect a mediator to contact you and your spouse separately to get information for the negotiations.
Before entering mediation, ensure you are prepared to give the mediator pertinent information. For example, you’ll need documents like income tax returns, pay stubs or 1099 forms, bank account, IRA and other investment details, real estate valuation, vehicles, and personal property. You’ll also need to gather information on debt you may owe, including mortgages, personal and student loans, credit cards, installment loans, and the like, to give to your mediator.