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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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Arbitration vs. Trial

In Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

The Drawbacks of Trial We’ve spent our entire lives watching television shows and movies about courtroom battles. There is glamour, conflict, and intrigue that keep us captivated. Unfortunately, real life trials bear little resemblance to what you may envision. If you are going through a divorce or custody dispute, the prospect of trial may be scary and a little exciting. There are some very real risks to consider before proceeding to trial. Trial can be incredibly expensive. You have to pay for costs and fees, including the many hours your attorney prepares for trial and the days your attorney spends in trial with you. Family courts in North Carolina are all overworked and overloaded with cases. It can sometimes take a year or longer to be reached for trial. You …

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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 …