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.
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 April 1, 2014.
- AOC-DRC-17 - Mediated Settlement Agreement Form
- AOC-DRC-18 - Mediation Summary
- 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
Stephanie NesbittTelephone(919) 890-1204EmailStephanie.A.Nesbitt@nccourts.org