Child Custody Mediation is a guided conversation
Child Custody Mediation allows people to exchange information and make decisions that can help them avoid going to court. Child custody mediation helps people discuss the best way to parent from different homes.
Final Agreement not required
Parties are not required to reach an agreement, however in North Carolina child custody mediation must be attempted prior to a permanent hearing and / or trial on issues such as child custody. See also for cases in Davie county North Carolina the following Mediation Action Chart
Free communication because statements can not be used in Court.
As a general rule, all statements, communications, and work product exchanged in connection to the child custody mediation process is inadmissible in court. Therefore the parties should ideally be able to communicate more freely in attempt to reach agreement on the issues in question.
Child Custody Mediation Purposes
The purposes of mediation under the program include the pursuit of the following goals:
(1) To reduce any acrimony that exists between the parties to a dispute involving custody or visitation of a minor child.
(2) The development of custody and visitation agreements that are in the child’s best interest;
(3) To provide the parties with informed choices and, where possible, to give the parties the responsibility for making decisions about child custody and visitation;
(4) To provide a structured, confidential, non-adversarial setting that will facilitate the cooperative resolution of custody and visitation disputes and minimize the stress and anxiety to which the parties, and especially the child, are subjected; and
(5) To reduce the re-litigation of custody and visitation disputes.
How much does Child Custody mediation cost?
The cost of mediation varies depending on whether your district provides for a state appointed and compensated mediator or whether you use a private mediator (often an attorney).
The cost of private mediation still is generally more cost effective than litigation. Most private mediator / attorneys charge an administrative fee between $150.00 to $200.00 and an hourly rate of $175.00 to $250.00 per hour. Each party is generally responsible for 1/2 of this cost at the conclusion of the mediation.
Child custody mediation may be mandatory
Many counties or districts require mandatory child custody mediation be held prior to a final hearing on the issues in North Carolina District Courts. Therefore be sure to check the local rules of court prior to filing a child custody or child support action to ensure compliance with the rules of court.