Mediation is completely confidential. Nothing that is discussed in mediation can be disclosed to a judge in the future, so the couple is encouraged to be open and honest about all of the relevant issues. Given that most people get divorced due to a breakdown in communication, it is important to understand that mediation only works if both parties can speak their mind without fear that their words will be used against them in the future.
Divorce Mediation Is Neutral & Voluntary
A mediator is neutral and does not represent either spouse. This means the mediator cannot give legal advice to either party. We remain neutral throughout mediation. However, we can assist you in coming up with ideas that can lead to an agreement. That open and honest exchange of ideas frees up both parties to negotiate in confidence. Because both spouses are working with the same information in a neutral forum, it usually takes far less time to reach an agreement that makes sense to both spouses than if you try to reach an agreement without a mediator.
Very importantly, mediation is entirely voluntary. It continues only for so long as you, your spouse, and the mediator want it to. Mediation can be conducted as frequently as the parties believe is necessary to reach an agreement. This is your mediation and you decide everything in the process, with the advice and experience of your divorce mediator.
In fact, our court rules state:
"Unless the participants in a mediation agree otherwise …., no party, mediator, or other participant in a mediation may disclose any mediation communication to anyone who was not a participant in the mediation. A mediator may disclose a mediation communication to prevent harm to others to the extent such mediation communication would be admissible in a court proceeding. A mediator has the duty to disclose to a proper authority information obtained at a mediation session if required by law or if the mediator has a reasonable belief that such disclosure will prevent a participant from committing a criminal or illegal act likely to result in death or serious bodily harm. No mediator may appear as counsel for any person in the same or any related matter." R. 1:40-4(d).
To learn more about mediation, and whether it's right for your case, contact PN LAW at (732) 479-4711.