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Keeping parenting disputes out of court

After a divorce, North Carolina families must face the daunting challenge of living in separate households. Children must deal with the emotional strain of two separate homes and the breaking of their once secure family. Parents have a responsibility during this time to make this transition as easy as possible for children. Parents often feel the urge to take their parenting issues and disagreements back to court, but this doesn't always work the way they envision. Instead, parents should seek other means to provide the support and consistency their children need to adapt to post-divorce life.

A parenting class can be a great source of important information and support for both parents. Many family law courts offer such classes, and these classes are specifically tailored to the challenges faced by parents and children during and after a divorce. Even skilled parents may not know the best ways to handle post-divorce situations, and parenting classes provide unbiased support designed to help both the custodial and non-custodial parent.

When disagreements do arise that parents cannot work out themselves, there is still at least one option available to avoid litigation. Mediation is a less formal option than court, and most parents are urged to try mediation before taking something back to the judge. A mediator will work with the parents to help them reach an agreement. Both parents are allowed to have legal counsel during mediation, and the mediator, unlike a judge, cannot force an agreement or decision.

Many parenting disputes can be avoided by ensuring that the original divorce or child custody agreement is properly structured and contains enough guidelines for both parents. An attorney may be able to help a parent draft an agreement that provides an appropriate amount of structure and provides guidance on key issues. This way, both parents know what to expect before the divorce is ever finalized.

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