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Family Law Articles

Is an Attorney Required for Mediation?

Do I need to have an attorney for mediation? You are by no means required to have an attorney present for a mediation, but some people find them to be helpful, particularly if you are already involved in litigation. The process is slightly different depending on whether clients are or are not represented by counsel, but both methods are successful.

What Can Be Resolved Through Mediation?

What sort of issues can be resolved through mediation? There are many types of mediation that can be used to resolve almost any sort of civil issue. Family Financial Settlement mediators are trained to work with all issues of family law to resolve issues of child and spousal support, custody, and equitable distribution. Other mediators work to resolve contract disputes, negotiate partition sales, and resolve all sorts of civil litigation matters.

What is arbitration?

Arbitration is another way to resolve a dispute that does not involve a Judge. Both sides present their case to a neutral third-party, who makes a legally binding judgment in the matter. Arbitration can be more costly and time-consuming than mediation, because your attorney actually has to prepare your case to present to the arbitrator in a similar way as they would prepare for a court hearing.

What is mediation?

Mediation is a method of alternative dispute resolution that encourages parties to resolve issues in a non-adversarial way with the help of a trained, neutral mediator. Mediation may be with or without the participation of attorneys, depending on the preference of the parties, and the stage in the process at which mediation is initiated.

Barri Payne is a Certified Family Law Mediator

In 2011, Barri completed her mediation certification with the North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission and is available to mediate represented or unrepresented parties. Mediation is a great way to resolve family law issues. It is required in child custody cases and equitable distribution (property division) matters. Mediation can often save parties both time and money and can keep your case from going to court. Barri completed a 40-hour mediation training, mediation observations with other certified family law mediators, and has had numerous mediations as an attorney over the course of her career in family law. Since certification in 2011, BP has mediated and helped resolve cases involving child custody, child support, spousal support and equitable distribution. Occasionally, she has mediated with parties who did not have legal representation, but more often she is mediating with parties and their respective attorneys. In many situations, the attorneys have selected her by agreement...

Barri Payne certified by the N.C. State Bar Board of Legal Specialization

On November 21, 2011, Barri Payne received her certification from the N.C. State Bar Board of Legal Specialization as a specialist in family law. Barri was one of 12 lawyers across the state certified this year in family law. To be certified as a specialist in family law, a lawyer has to meet several criteria including: Licensed as an attorney for over 5 years Devote a substantial portion of their practice to family law Attend many hours of Continuing Legal Education (CLE) seminars in family law Be favorably evaluated by other lawyers and Judges through a peer review process Pass a written comprehensive family law exam which is given one time annually Barri is available for consultations on family law matters such as separation, divorce, child custody, support, separation agreements, or adoptions and is also a certified family financial mediator.

Why I Practice Family Law

Thinking back to my time at UNC School of Law, I was not someone who really enjoyed my law school experience. I did not always know clearly that law was for me. I considered divinity school, grad school, and law school before settling on law school. I started school in the fall that UNC Law broke ground on the new law school building right next to the current building. The construction continued all three years I was a student and frustration of that I am sure detracted from my experience. I also didn’t immerse myself in the law school experience the way many students do. I was married, had been out of college for four years and, and lived away from Chapel Hill. I was actually happy that I had a life apart from law school and feel that helped me keep a healthy perspective and put less pressure on...