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North Carolina Divorce Mediation, Counseling and Parenting Classes
North Carolina Divorce Mediation:
The court may order parents contesting child custody (and related issues) to submit to mandatory mediation. When ordered by the court, mediation, which is provided by the state at no cost to the participants, is required only in a limited number of counties. [General Statutes of North Carolina; Chapter 50, 50-13.1].
If the county where the case is filed offers mandatory mediation, the parties must go through mediation before a permanent custody hearing. The parties receive a notice to attend mediation and can be held in contempt of court for failure to attend.
During mediation, the parents work with a court-provided mediator to try to reach an agreement on a child custody arrangement and/or visitation. If parents are able to reach an agreement on child custody, the custody mediation office prepares a parenting agreement. Both parties have the ability to make agreed upon changes to that agreement before it is entered with the court.
North Carolina Marriage Counseling:
There is no mandatory divorce counseling in North Carolina.
North Carolina Parenting Class:
As a preliminary to mediation, parents disputing custody take a mandatory parenting class, which can range from one to four hours depending on the county. During Parent Education, parents learn co-parenting skills, how to be a parent to a child living in two different homes, and what adjustments their individual parenting style may need to ensure a healthy living environment for the children.
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