Carolina Family Arbitration and Mediation Services

Schedule your consultation - (704) 788-3263

Did you know that disputes involving child custody, child support, spousal support and equitable distribution of marital property do not necessarily have to be handled in court? You may be able to settle privately without the expense of court costs.

While some cases must proceed through the courts for valid and compelling reasons, many more cases end up there because the litigants (spouses) do not understand and are not properly informed as to alternative methods of resolving their differences through more private, efficient, and sometimes more creative methods.

Carolina Family Arbitration and Mediation Services can help you if you are in the process of separation or divorce, or are in an extended family dispute.

Fill out the form at the bottom of this page, or call (704) 788-3263 to schedule your appointment today.

Bill Rogers - NCDRC Certified Mediator - Superior Court and Family Financial Mediation

As a family law attorney, I meet with many potential clients for consultations each week. Many of them have found themselves in difficult personal situations related to on-going, or anticipated marital problems, and are seeking help. Often they have separated from their spouses (or intend to do so) and have serious differences with their spouses or partners regarding the terms of their separation.

On the one hand, they want to settle those differences privately but have had no success and have no idea how to do so. Unfortunately, the advice they often receive from friends, family, and attorneys is “take it to court”. This often is not the best choice.

Many years of trial practice handling family law matters such as the above in the District Court, has convinced me that most disputes could be more efficiently and fairly resolved through alternative dispute resolution processes.

My purpose in establishing Carolina Family Arbitration and Mediation Services is to provide a means by which this can be accomplished.

 

 

MORE ABOUT BILL

I was admitted to the North Carolina State Bar in 1981 and began practicing law on Concord later that year. My practice has expanded greatly over the years and I have devoted the majority of my time to family law cases. While I am experienced in most aspects of family law I am particularly interested in custody and equitable distribution matters. After many years of courtroom experience I have become convinced that mediation and arbitration of family conflicts is a vastly more effective, affordable and humane way to deal with disputes arising from the dissolution of the family while minimizing the interpersonal conflict and relationship damage that so often results from the traditional litigation approach.

I have mediated hundreds of family law matters, both through court referrals and private selection, since 1996. In 2005 I completed the 40 hour Family and Divorce Mediation training course offered by Mediation, Inc. Since then I have utilized that training, along with a healthy dose of practical courtroom experience, to help clients reach equitable and positive solutions to family disputes.

Alternatives to Litigation

There are alternative methods of working through and resolving family law disputes.

Resolution of these difficult issues through mediation and/or arbitration requires an honest commitment to:

(1) reveal all relevant information, including financial information and documentation necessary for a fair resolution of the matter

(2) consider the other party’s needs and respect their feelings and concerns, and

(3) make reasonable compromises to reach a fair and practical settlement.

The available options include mediation, arbitration, and “Med-Arb” agreements, which essentially combine the first two options.

 

Mediation

Mediation is a settlement process where the parties voluntarily resolve their differences and disagreements with the help of a neutral mediator.

The mediator’s most important responsibility is to remain neutral throughout the process and to encourage and facilitate a fair settlement of the dispute. The participants in mediation include the parties, their attorneys (if they are represented by counsel) and the mediator.

A skilled mediator will actively listen to the parties’ concerns, identify and focus on the parties’ respective needs and interests, diffuse hostilities, and consider alternative and creative opportunities for the parties to reach an agreement. Parties sometimes elect to resolve their differences through mediation before litigation is commenced in order to avoid the expense of legal proceedings. In other cases mediation is ordered or agreed to during the course of a court proceeding, and as a last attempt to avoid a trial.

When mediation is conducted pursuant to a court order, or if it is conducted in accordance with a contract which so provides, the process is confidential. The costs typically include the mediator’s fee and an administrative fee.

Arbitration

Arbitration is different than mediation in that it is a process by which parties present their evidence and advocate their positions to a neutral arbitrator who functions much like a judge in a traditional court proceeding. In other words, the parties present their cases to the arbitrator and the arbitrator then issues a decision.

Parties may elect to submit their disputes to arbitration by entering into a contract to do so, and may elect to make the arbitration binding or non-binding. While somewhat similar to a courtroom trial, arbitration offers some advantages to litigation. Some of these advantages include:

  • The ability of the parties to schedule the arbitration proceeding to suit their schedules, rather than according to court scheduling rules. This often means the matter can be arbitrated much more quickly than it would be tried in court;
  • Arbitration hearings are typically conducted in a more private setting, as opposed to a public courtroom. The parties can therefore keep their personal disputes relatively private;
  • Parties an actually pick an arbitrator that they believe has the background, experience and temperament to hear all sides of the dispute, carefully consider all of the evidence presented, reach a fair decision. While the arbitrator’s fee is based upon the time spent in conducting the arbitration and preparing the arbitration award may vary according to his or her experience, that cost is typically divided between the parties.
  • Parties can agree to streamline procedural rules by modifying the rules of evidence that are required to be followed in court proceedings. The parties also sometimes agree to prepare and exchange exhibits or evidence in advance of the arbitration hearing and to submit that evidence to the arbitrator in advance of the hearing to allow the arbitrator to prepare for the hearing and use time during the hearing more efficiently.
  • Lastly, arbitration hearings are usually much less formal than court proceedings, resulting in less nervousness, stress and anxiety for the parties and their attorneys.

Med-Arb

Med-Arb proceedings combine both mediation and arbitration.

The parties attempt to mediate their disputes first, and if mediation fails to result in a settlement of all issues in dispute, the neutral mediator may also serve as the arbitrator to decide the issues upon which the parties were unable to agree. Alternatively, the parties may elect to have a different neutral arbitrator if they feel that the mediator will be unable to remain neutral in an arbitration process.

In some mediations the parties may come to an agreement on 2 or 3 of their disagreements, but be unable to reach an agreement on others. In such a case the parties may choose to formalize their points of agreement and to submit the remaining areas of disagreement to arbitration.

Contact

We look forward to learning about your needs and how we can help you.

Please call (704) 788-3263 to schedule a consultation, or fill out the form below and we will get back with you soon.


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If you are looking for a divorce lawyer or family law attorney you may be able to affordably find resolution by using a mediator attorney like Bill Rogers. Bill is an experienced attorney in Concord NC and mediator for custody agreements and other family law issues.
Located in Concord, Kannapolis, Salisbury, across Cabarrus County, and Rowan County? Call (704) 788-3263 to schedule a consultation today.