Reason: If you litigate, the court is going to make you.
In North Carolina, parties who file claims for equitable distribution of property, post-separation support, alimony, child support, child custody, or visitation can be ordered to participate in mediation.
Court-ordered mediation is a different animal than private mediation. If it's an equitable distribution or alimony case (you and your spouse are fighting about money or property), you'll go with your lawyers to a mediator recommended by your lawyers. You'll never see your spouse. You'll sit in separate rooms while the mediator goes back and forth. You'll spend a lot of time wondering what the mediator is talking with your spouse about. You'll pay for your attorney's time and the mediator's time while you are waiting. The mediator will bring proposals back and forth. If your spouse makes a ridiculous offer, you will be angry, and you will make a ridiculous counteroffer. This exchange will continue for much of the day until you are thoroughly exhausted. Each of you will feel pushed (by your lawyer and the mediator) to give up things that are important to you. And when it's finally over, you will probably feel like you gave up more than your spouse.
When we mediate your family law case, we meet with both of you in the same room. You and your spouse do the talking. We help you voice your concerns and needs in a way that your spouse will hear and understand. If you have attorneys, they serve as coaches and advisors in the background, not expensive mouthpieces. You set the pace. You settle when you have jointly figured out how to establish independent lives using the money and property at your disposal. We work in short sessions, not a marathon of attrition and concessions.
How would you prefer to settle your case?