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Step by Step Guide – Child Custody Mediation Process

The Richardson Firm Team
Step by Step Guide To Child Mediation

Even though marriage vows include the phrase, ‘until death do us part,’ statistics show less than one half of marriages actually last that long. In North Carolina and across the nation, divorce has become very commonplace. Traditional courtroom litigation is always an option for couples choosing to divorce, but before the the a custody, child support, equitable distribution or alimony case goes to trial, the parties must go through the mediation process. Mediation is often a wonderful option that allows the parties to solve the matters on their own terms and move forward. In particular, mediation has proven to be exceptionally successful in child custody matters.

The experienced attorneys at The Richardson Firm will help guide you through the mediation process to make it easier and less stressful for you and your family.


After taking part in an orientation program, the parents will attend the actual mediation. There is no cost for custody mediation and only the mediator and the parents may attend the mediation. If one parent lives out of town, the program may be facilitated by video.

If an agreement is reached during the mediation, the parties have an opportunity to review the proposed agreement with their attorneys before the order is signed by a judge.

If no agreement is reached, the parents may try mediation again or the case may proceed to trial. Once an agreement is signed by a judge, it becomes a custody order.


There are many advantages to using mediation instead of going to through with traditional courtroom litigation, such as:

  • The mediation process tends to be more affordable because it allows the parties to avoid the costs of a custody trial;
  • It offers parties the ability to customize their settlement based upon their personal knowledge and needs instead of relying on a third party judge to determine the terms and conditions of the custody order;
  • Generally, the mediation process provides the ability to achieve a quicker resolution versus trial, and many couples can reach an agreement in one mediation session; and
  • Mediation sessions take place in a relaxed and non-confrontational atmosphere.


Having an experienced North Carolina family law attorney is vital in helping you prepare for mediation. The Richardson Firm’s family law attorney can help prepare you by discussing possible strategies, realistic goals, and all of the relevant state laws that apply to custody orders. You do not have to face this task alone. The Richardson Firm is here to help and guide you.


Custody mediation is the chance to work with the other party on a pathway forward by finding common ground and agreeing on a custody order that protects the child, your rights as a parent and helps you avoid the expense of protracted litigation, but first, you should have an attorney who can advise you and help you navigate this process.

The Richardson Firm’s attorneys and staff know how difficult the end of a relationship or marriage can be. Our firm has over a century of combined legal experience and a veteran staff ready to help you. Whether it is child custody, child support, equitable distribution, post-separation support, alimony or divorce, we are here to help you. After the initial litigation has ended, we will remain available to help with any modification, enforcement or contempt issues that arise.

Call us at 910-488-5050 to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.

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