Dan Lewis | Family Law Attorney
Did you know that you can resolve family law conflicts outside of the courtroom? TV shows and stories you hear from friends and others often focus on courtroom battles over child custody, asset distribution, and alimony. However, the majority of family law cases are resolved through settlement where parties reach a compromise at some point in their case. The most familiar method of doing so is through Mediation where parties meet with a neutral person whose main goal is to negotiate a middle ground. Parties involved in a child custody lawsuit are even required to attend Mediation pursuant to North Carolina law. Like litigation, however, Mediation may not be the best choice for you.
The Collaborative Law process is another way to resolve disputes outside the courtroom. Often referred to as the “smarter” way to divorce and resolve issues, the Collaborative Law process allows individuals to work together with their attorneys without the fear that they will end up in court. Widely used throughout the country, this process is specifically provided for under North Carolina law and differs from Mediation in that parties sign an agreement that (1) they will use their best efforts and make a good faith attempt to work together to resolve their issues, (2) all information and documents disclosed will remain confidential, and (3) if the process breaks down, then both parties’ attorneys will be disqualified from representing them in subsequent litigation. This non-adversarial option provides people with a more open and cooperative atmosphere to talk through divorce and family law related issues and reach creative resolutions that are best for the family. Additionally, in the Collaborative Law process, parties sometimes use financial or mental health providers to assist them in understanding all information they need to make educated and informed decisions about their finances and their children.
Dan Lewis is a family law attorney in Charlotte, NC. His practice includes divorce, child custody and child support matters.