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Understanding “Good Faith”

In Child Custody, Child Support, Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

Family court judges in North Carolina take their jobs incredibly seriously. For example, nothing keeps judges up at night to the degree that child custody decisions do. This is because judges are tasked with making huge, lasting decisions that impact the happiness, stability, and safety of children. In addition, judges understand that decisions about divorce, property division, alimony, and child support can have an enormous impact on the future of everyone involved. ?? In fact, courts have the sole discretion to determine whether a witness is credible. If a court finds that a person lacks credibility, then this can have highly damaging ramifications on that person’s legal outcome. The court can essentially choose to disbelieve all of an untrustworthy person’s testimony. This is one of the reasons that people must …

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Is Alternative Dispute Resolution Required?

In Child Custody, Child Support, Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) consists of numerous types of “alternatives” to taking a lawsuit to trial. We are well aware that there are people out there who are eager to go to trial to have their day in court. However, consider the following: Taking a case to trial is very expensive. There are attorneys fees relating to the time-consuming process of trial preparation and the days of time exclusively dedicated to actual trial. This doesn’t even include the court costs, witness fees, expert witnesses, and obtaining certified records. Courts are overbooked. They have way too many cases on their dockets and insufficient time to dedicate to every case that is heading toward trial. This makes it difficult to get a trial setting, or to even get reached on your assigned …

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What is Mediation?

In Child Custody, Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

Lawsuits are incredibly time consuming and expensive for everyone involved. In addition, courts across North Carolina are experiencing increasingly unmanageable dockets. In other words, there are a growing number of cases being filed and not enough time for judges to hear them all. For these reasons, courts will often order parties in a lawsuit to attempt Alternative Dispute Resolution (also referred to as ADR). And the most common form of ADR is mediation. What is Mediation? Mediation is an informal process in which the parties in a case, their attorneys, and an impartial third party meet and attempt to resolve the case with an agreement. This is not like trial. There is no evidence presented, no court reporter, and no judge. Instead, the parties are separated into different rooms and …