Rules for Settlement Procedures in District Court Family Financial Cases (FFS Rules)

By Tara Kozlowski 

From the Executive Director of the Dispute Resolution Commission

The Dispute Resolution Commission is very excited to announce that proposed rule changes submitted to the Supreme Court of North Carolina were adopted on Wednesday, June 3, 2020. Amendments to five rule sets, as amended, will go into effect on June 10, 2020. The amended rules are now live on the Supreme Court’s Court Rules web page:  (

The amended rules include a requirement that all mediators who mediate family financial cases, under the FFS program, be certified by the Dispute Resolution Commission. The Commission is sensitive to the fact that many family law attorneys have been conducting mediations for a number of years, without the need for certification. To help ease this transition, the Commission has provided a grandfather clause within the rules, allowing for a 16-hour training course (in lieu of the full 40-hour training course) and waiving the observation requirement, under certain circumstances. It is our hope that all of you who conduct family financial mediations will become certified and continue your mediation practice in family financial classes.

Mediators have until June 10, 2021 to complete the requirements for this grandfather clause.

Please note, the Commission’s jurisdiction is limited to our specific programs. The certification requirement does not extend to pre-litigation matters or matters in litigation that do not fall under the FFS Rules. Therefore, certification is only required if you will be mediating matters under the FFS Rules.

The Commission has recently adopted Guidelines to allow for remote training courses. There will be training courses available to all those who are interested in taking the 16-hour supplemental family mediation training course. Please do not hesitate to contact Commission staff should you have any questions.