Why Should I Consider Alternatives to Court When Facing Family Break-Up?

Instead of filing an action in court, having multiple hearings, missing work, having to involve family, friends, teachers and employers, paying for appraisals, bank statements, and other documents for court, and remaining stuck in the conflict for months, sometimes years, why not consider an alternative format for handling your family law conflict? There are a number options-- the most common being mediation or a mediated settlement conference. What are the advantages of mediation outside the court setting?

  • It is a COST EFFECTIVE way to settle marital disputes and establish a pathway forward, almost always considerably less expensive than going to court about the issues.
  • You set the schedule with the mediator that is most convenient for you for your meetings-you are not inconvenienced by unexpected continuances, court overloads, and delays.
  • You can SETTLE ALL DISPUTES without multiple court hearings and burdensome technical requirements.
  • It takes LESS TIME than court and is more efficient and informal.
  • YOU ARE IN CHARGE of the outcome, rather than a lawyer or judge.
  • You can mediate by agreement with the other spouse with or without attorney involvement.
  • You can agree to have the mediator or another qualified attorney act as an ARBITRATOR or judge and make a decision based on the input of both spouses if you cannot come to negotiated agreements about every issue. Arbitration is a PRIVATE proceeding, and not done in open court in front of numerous people and court personnel.
  • It provides a HIGHER LEVEL OF FLEXIBILITY in coming to solutions than the court system.
  • It allows you to LOOK TO THE FUTURE and make a plan that you and your family can live with and that is realistic for both parties.
  • It gives you the chance to take a longer view, begin to ESTABLISH A WORKING RELATIONSHIP when there are children, and to move forward with your life.
  • Mediated settlements have been shown to be MORE LASTING THAN COURT ORDERS, and the parties express a HIGHER LEVEL OF SATISFACTION with the outcome, both in the short and long term.
  • It REDUCES CONFLICT between the parties and this is beneficial for children, even adult children.

Mary Blanton is an experienced mediator, having been certified by the North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission to do family financial mediations as part of the court process since 2001. She has also conducted a number of pre-litigation and private mediations for couples and acted as an arbitrator. She has training in collaborative law, and acts as a parent coordinator in high conflict custody cases by order of the court. Her training and experience make her the perfect choice if you want to do the right thing for your family, think outside the box and do something different-and better---when facing your family issues. Ted Blanton is a former district court judge, and has presided over many custody and marital property division cases. He also has the necessary knowledge and experience to act as an arbitrator in your family law matter.

In addition to private and pre-litigation mediations, with or without attorney involvement, our firm also offers other alternative dispute resolution formats, such as arbitration, collaborative divorce agreements and marital agreements, pre- and post-marital, as well as separation agreements and property settlements.