North Carolina Enacts New Collaborative Law: How can it Benefit Your Divorce Case?

Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: “What rules are there for Father’s Right in NC?”


North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper signed the Uniform Collaborative Law Act – also known as HB 32 – into law on July 1, 2020. The new law enacted the Uniform Collaborative Law Act and has finally codified the statutory provisions to regulate the collaborative law process in North Carolina. But how can it benefit your divorce case in North Carolina?

holding-hands-Charlotte-Monroe-Mooresville-Collaborative-divorce-lawyer-300x216Under the new law, North Carolinians can resolve legal issues and disputes without lawsuits, depositions, and trials. However, collaborative law is not new in the state of North Carolina. The process of collaborative law has been an option for people to resolve their divorce and family law matters for nearly two decades.

The new law opened the process up to many different areas where collaborative law was not previously available.


What is the Collaborative Law Process in North Carolina?

In order to determine how collaborative law can benefit your divorce case, you need to understand the key components of the collaborative law process.

  • You and your spouse must have a written agreement for collaborative law.
  • Your divorce lawyer who represents your interests during the collaborative law process is barred from continuing to work on your case if no settlement is reached or the parties want to go to trial to resolve the disputed matters. In other words, if you wish to take your divorce case to court after attempting to resolve your disputes through collaborative law, you will have to find a new divorce lawyer.
  • Anything the parties discuss during negotiations when using the collaborative law process cannot be used in their subsequent trial. Thus, the state law prevents either party from using the statements made by the opposing party during the collaborative law process. Also, any expert testimony that was prepared for the collaborative law process cannot be used in a subsequent trial.
  • The parties are in full control of their divorce case while their attempt to reach a settlement during the process of collaborative law.
  • The parties can rely on the court to turn any agreements reached while using the collaborative law process into a judgment or enforceable court order.
  • North Carolina’s statute of limitations and other deadlines will be tolled while the parties participate in the collaborative law If the parties are not able to reach an agreement while using collaborative law, the tolling period will be terminated 30 days after all the parties receive a notice of the termination of the collaborative law agreement.


What are the Benefits of Using the Collaborative Law Process for Your Divorce?

There are several advantages of using the collaborative law process:

  • Less expensive. Opting for collaborative law helps you avoid court costs, legal fees, and attorney fees, which is why the process is less costly than traditional court proceedings.
  • Less stress. Going to court to resolve your divorce case can be an overwhelming and stressful experience. Using the collaborative law process helps you avoid that stress.
  • More control. You and your spouse get to have complete control over the outcome of your divorce case. The same cannot be said about traditional divorce proceedings, in which the judge has control over the outcome of your dispute.
  • More confidentiality. The parties get to enjoy more confidentiality during the collaborative law process. By contrast, everything you and your spouse say during the court proceedings will be available to the public.

If you are considering using collaborative law to resolve your divorce case in North Carolina, consult with our skilled family law attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC. Get a phone or video consultation by calling at (704) 370-2828 to speak with our detail-oriented and well-versed lawyers with offices in Charlotte, Lake Norman, and Monroe, please contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today or find additional resources here.







The family law practice group at Arnold & Smith, PLLC includes two Board-Certified Family Law specialists and one Child Welfare Law specialist, as well as several attorneys with many years of family law experience that are committed to providing a powerful voice to individuals facing the often-tumultuous issues in this area of law. The range of issues our family law clients may be facing include pre- and post-nuptial agreements; separation agreements; post-separation support; child support (both temporary and permanent); absolute divorce; divorce from bed and board; military divorce; equitable distribution of assets; child custody (both temporary and permanent); retirement benefits and divorce; alimony and spousal support; adoption; and emancipation. Because this area of the law is usually emotionally charged and complicated, the family law attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC act with the utmost dedication to ensure that each client understands his or her options, and then act to achieve the best result possible for that client’s particular situation.





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