Mediation is simply the art of helping people have a good conversation. When people are in conflict, communication tends to break down- right when they need it the most. We help couples transitioning out of their relationships sort out the logistics of the separation. Allowing each person to express his or her needs and desires provides a chance for the couple to develop solutions for themselves. Participants in mediation create tailor-made arrangements for co-parenting, dividing assets and liabilities, and financial support. Mediators ensure that both people are fully heard and involved in forming a collaborative solution.
Typically, couples use mediation as a means to develop a set of agreements. Once written up, this can be used as the foundation of the formal Separation Agreement. The Separation Agreement is generally developed by one attorney and reviewed by the other party’s attorney before filing for the divorce. In this way, couples can file for a divorce without costly litigation, the back and forth of attorney negotiations, or interaction with court system.
Some parents find themselves struggling to work effectively with their child’s other parent for too long. It seems like whatever one parent decides is best for their child, the other determines it will cause ultimate ruin. Months and even years after separation, these parents continue to fight as they did at the end of their marriage. Or they can’t be in the same room for a child’s graduation or award ceremony.
Parenting Coordinators provide a supportive structure for moving beyond these patterns. Due to the fact that high-conflict parents tend to clog the court system, North Carolina adopted the use of non-confidential Parenting Coordinators. Utilizing the collaborative decision-making strategies of mediation, combined with education, and case management, PCs monitor progress made by these parents to ensure that they’re fulfilling their obligations to their child and complying with the Court recommendations. With prior approval of the parties, the PC has the authority to make limited decisions within the scope of the court order, to assist high-conflict parents who have demonstrated an inability or unwillingness to make parenting decisions on their own.
While PCs are frequently recommended by judges, parents often voluntarily choose to work with a PC because they recognize the strain their co-parenting dynamic has on their child. Having an impartial third-party involved in parenting decisions can bring a pillar of stability to a tumultuous situation.