Confidentiality in Divorce Mediation

By Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce-mediation-Orange-County; California Divorce MediatorsDo you want to air your dirty laundry to the world that will treat it as gossip, spreading it around? Most likely, you want to keep your dirty laundry between the two of you, three, if you include the divorce mediator. Will the divorce mediator be able to keep your secrets hidden from prying eyes, as even the walls have ears?

The whole point of divorce mediation is to keep your spats, arguments, and marital problem from going public. Look at it this way. The walls of the divorce mediator’s office are soundproofed and their lips are sealed, meaning no sound will escape. The same cannot be said about you, as you may be inclined to share what happened during the divorce mediation process to someone you trust.

If that’s the case, you might want to pick the people that you decide to air your dirty laundry to carefully. When it comes to the mediator leaking information, stay rest assured because they won’t. Divorce mediation is a process that was created on the grounds of remaining strict confidentiality. Hence, there is no way that you may find someone talking about you and your partner’s divorce proceedings. The divorce mediator will make both of you sign a confidentiality agreement as well. If you decide to go to court, the proceedings can be disclosed to your attorneys.

Can You Use the Divorce Mediation Sessions as Evidence?

You cannot use any part or section of the divorce mediation proceedings as evidence in court against your partner. When the whole purpose of divorce mediation is to provide you and your partner with a comfortable and stress-free environment to discuss the problems in your marriage, the division of property and assets, and the custody of children, if you have any, you can rest easy, as that’s what you’ll receive in return.

In the instance, you decide to go to court after divorce mediation, you cannot use the mediation proceedings and discussion as evidence to be used against your partner, you cannot subpoena the mediator to testify on behalf of you or against your partner, and you cannot force anyone involved in the mediation proceedings to speak in your favor. However, we are hoping that it won’t come to that and both parties will be able to reach a resolution and leave the marriage satisfied with the end results of the divorce settlement agreement.

What Are the Repercussions to Breaching the Confidentiality Agreement?

If the parties involved disclose the proceedings to someone else with the aim to hurt them in some way, the party that’s at fault will be required to pay a fine. This will result in multiple trips to the court and expense of obtaining attorneys. Even if you’re compelled to share the events that transpired in the mediation room to use to your advantage, don’t! You will be paying double or more to what you paid for the divorce mediation.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, “What is Divorce Mediation.”