Mediation can be a useful process to help the parties resolve their divorce related disputes. But a mediator is not a judge, and he or she does not get to make a decision about how to resolve the case and family law cases. In fact, in North Carolina, if a party files for an equitable distribution claim with the court, mediation of that claim is mandatory.
However, the parties can also voluntarily agree to discuss issues related to child support, child custody and spousal support. According to Nolo, one of the benefits of mediation is that it is often quicker and more cost effective than going to court. The parties have more control over how quickly they will attend mediation and how much time and money they will devote to the process. In addition, mediation gives parties the ability to agree upon a solution that is more tailored to their particular family rather than allowing a judge to decide for them.
They are able to address the fine details of the agreement, such as a more nuanced custody schedule or creative property settlement. According to FindLaw, mediated settlement agreements can include specific procedures for how the terms of the agreement will be performed. Because the parties were involved in creating the agreement, there was often a higher likelihood that the parties will actually comply with the terms of the settlement with all of its benefits.
Mediation is not right for every case. Unlike a courtroom setting, mediation typically has very few rules. This lack of formality could be great for promoting settlement. But in cases where one party is timid and the other party is more vocal and aggressive, the timid party runs the risk of not getting everything to which he might be legally entitled because he is unable to assert his position. Having a lawyer present during the mediation to represent your interests can help mitigate this problem.