Due to COVID-19, court-ordered mediations under DRC programs shall be conducted remotely. If the mediator, all parties, and any other persons required to attend agree to waive the requirement to conduct a remote mediation, and comply with all federal, state and local safety guidelines that have been issued, they may conduct the mediation in person. Rule 4 of the MSC, FFS and Clerk Rules and Rule 5 of the DCC Rules provide that a mediation shall be conducted via electronic means. With the agreement of all parties, and ability to comply with safety guidelines, the parties may conduct the mediation in person. The parties may also seek an order from the court to conduct the mediation in person. If all parties do not consent to hold the mediation in person, and absent an order from the court, the matter shall be held through remote technology.
*Nothing in the Rules prohibits a mediator from establishing stricter health requirements for a mediation conference.
*Any mediation conducted in person shall be done in strict compliance with all executive orders and social distancing requirements. All parties to the mediation shall use appropriate social distancing practices and safety procedures. The NCDRC recommends all parties follow the three W’s: wear a cloth face covering, wait 6 feet apart and avoid close contact, and wash your hands often. Please stay informed of all local and state policies that are in place to ensure best practices are followed.
The Family Financial Settlement Program was established to assist separating couples in resolving financial disputes. Couples ordered to the program will likely be required to participate in mediation. During mediation, they will sit down with their attorneys and a mediator to discuss issues of property and debt division, child support and alimony and to consider ways to resolve these issues.
G.S. 7A-38.4A provides that any district court judge may order a mediated settlement conference or other authorized settlement procedure in any action pending in that district for equitable distribution, alimony, child or post-separation support, or claims arising out of contracts between the parties under G.S. 52-10. G.S. 52-10.1 or Chapter 52B of the General Statutes. Once a settlement procedure is ordered, the parties and their counsel must attend unless excused by the court.
Parties who have been victims of domestic violence may be excused by the court from physically attending or participating in a mediated settlement conference or other settlement procedure.
Information for Parties without AttorneysIf you will be participating in a mediation without an attorney, please be aware that, while the mediator will do his or her best to ensure a civil and full discussion of the issues, s/he cannot give legal advice to anyone participating in the conference.
The Rules Implementing Settlement Procedures in Equitable Distribution and Other Family Financial Cases (FFS Rules) were first adopted by the Supreme Court in 1998, pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7A-38.4. (later revised as N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7A-38.4A). The FFS Rules provide a menu of dispute resolution alternatives designed to expedite settlement of family financial matters, including cases involving claims for equitable distribution, alimony, and child support. The parties, in consultation with their attorneys, are given an opportunity to select from: mediated settlement (mediation), neutral evaluation, judicial settlement conference (if available in the district), and any other procedure authorized under local rule in the judicial district in which the case is pending. The default procedure, in the event parties do not select one of the menu options, is "mediated settlement". Anyone with questions about the FFS Rules may contact the Commission's office. The FFS Rules are effective June 10, 2020.
- AOC-CV-815 - Motion and Order For Show Cause Hearing
- AOC-CV-816 - Order Of Contempt For Non-Payment Of Mediator's Fees
- AOC-CV-824 - Order For Mediated Settlement Conference In Family Financial Case
- AOC-CV-825 - Designation Of Mediator In Family Financial Case
- AOC-CV-827 - Report of Mediator In Family Financial Case
- AOC-CV-828 - Petition And Order For Relief From Obligation To Pay All Or Part Of Mediator's Fee In Family Financial Case
- AOC-DRC-03 - Application For Certification To Conduct Family Financial Mediations
- AOC-DRC-05 - Dispute Resolution Commission Complaint Form
- AOC-DRC-08 - Certificate Of Observation
- AOC-DRC-09 - Mediator Evaluation Form
- AOC-DRC-17 - Mediated Settlement Agreement (FFS Program)
- AOC-DRC-18 - Mediation Summary
- AOC-DRC-19 - Order without Motion Extending Completion Date for Mediated Settlement Conference or Other Settlement Procedures Upon Stipulation of the Parties, Suggestion of the Mediator, or Upon the Court’s Own Order
- AOC-DRC-20 - Notice of Withdrawal/Disqualification Of Mediator and Order for Substitution of Mediator
Dispute Resolution Commission
PO Box 2448
Raleigh, NC 27602Telephone(919) 890-1415