Basic Mediation Guidelines
- Typically the mediator will try to ensure that both parents have frequent and continuing regular contact with their children
- The mediator will also want to foster a positive environment for the children in which both parents are flexible and foster a relationship with the other parent.
- It is important that both parents are respectful of the other and that they never make negative remarks about the other parent.
- Mediation can only work if each spouse is honest and openly discloses all facts, records, and documents required to ensure an informed and fair agreement.
- If a mediator believes that such disclosure is not taking place they will take steps to ensure that it does, and if there still a disclosure issue the mediator may decide to terminate the mediation.
- It is important that both parties feel that mediation is a fair forum in which to resolve their concerns and differences.
- The mediator does not represent ether party and will not take a stand on any particular opinion.
- The mediator must ensure that the forum is fair and that neither spouse is being pushed, threatened or bullied into reaching an agreement.
- Both parties must feel comfortable with the agreement.
Use of Consulting Professionals
- The mediator may request that the spouses consult with other professionals during the proceedings, such as an accountant who may be needed to address tax issues, or an appraiser, to establish the value of a residence.
- Each spouse is highly encouraged to consult their own attorney to have them review the written agreement or settlement which results from mediation.
- Everything that occurs during mediation is fully confidential.
- The mediator will not divulge anything the spouses say to him or her to the other partner or to anyone without the written permission of the other spouse.
- The mediator may not be brought into court.
Commitment to Success
- In order for mediation to succeed each spouse must be committed to working towards an out of court resolution of their divorce.
- The parties must cooperate and focus on reaching resolution rather than personally attacking the other.
- The parties must be respectful, listen to each other, and not interrupt one another.
- Mediation is not for everyone. Spouses who want to attack or punish each other, who think that their lawyer “can get them a better deal,” or who have been abused in the marriage should not become involved in mediation.
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