Sometimes, when couples are going through a divorce it can be hard to communicate with each other. They may want to consider participating in mediation, which is conducted by an independent third party. A mediator does not make decisions for the separating couple, but instead helps facilitate discussions between them to settle disputes.
It’s important that the parties are open and honest in their communications with the mediator as well as make complete and accurate disclosures of information. If either party withholds information or provides false information, any agreement they make during the mediation may be set aside.
Information that is shared during the mediation process is confidential. The mediator is not allowed to disclose information without the parties’ permission. In addition, confidential information disclosed in a meeting with one party cannot be shared with the other party without consent.
However, if the mediator learns of crimes, imminent threats of injury or abuse or other information that they have a duty to report, that information is not confidential.
When the parties come to an agreement, they will complete a stipulation form that includes all of the issues they agreed on. It must be in writing. The parties are encouraged to review the stipulation with an attorney before signing it.
An experienced attorney can provide guidance about whether the agreement is fair and adequately represents their interests. Once the agreement is signed by all of the parties, it becomes final.
If the parties cannot come to an agreement through mediation, the dispute may need to go through the court process for resolution.