Can What Is Said In Mediation Be Used Against Me?
One of the most popular methods of resolving divorce matters in Florida is divorce mediation. This type of alternative dispute resolution method takes place outside of the courtroom, but it is not for everyone. There are times when mediation does not work out, and spouses become concerned that what was discussed or negotiated during mediation can be used against them later on in the divorce. At the Law Offices of David L. Hirschberg, our experienced Boca Raton divorce attorneys are prepared to answer all your questions about mediation and the divorce process. To learn more, call or contact our office now.
How Does Mediation Work?
Mediation is a way to resolve disputes in a divorce without the use of traditional litigation. Known as an alternative dispute method, mediation relies on a couple compromising on issues in order to come up with a solution to matters such as property distribution, alimony, child custody, and child support that works for everyone. Mediation takes place outside of court on the couple’s schedule with their attorneys and a third party neutral, known as a mediator.
The mediator meets with each side to identify the issues and then goes back and forth between the parties to try and compromise on a solution. If the issues are resolved, the mediator works with the lawyers to draft a final agreement and submit it to the court for finalization. However, in some situations couples cannot agree to terms during mediation, and when mediation fails, the couple may end up in litigation and court.
What Happens if Mediation Fails?
Mediation can fail for many reasons. Some spouses refuse to compromise or simply want to hurt the other spouse during a divorce. Others refuse to acknowledge that the process is happening if they do not want a divorce. Still others have personality characteristics that are not conducive to mediation, such as aggression or combativeness, or there is a history of domestic violence. Whatever the reason, if a mediation fails the couple must return to court and settle all remaining differences through traditional litigation.
This means that all issues must go through the typical trial process. This may include a lengthy discovery process of depositions, interrogatories, and requests to produce documents. Trials may be held on the issues where each side gets a chance to present evidence as well as examine and cross-examine witnesses, and a judge will render the final disposition on the case. It is critical to know that if you engage in mediation before litigation, nothing said during mediation can be used against you in court. Everything remains confidential, and no statements, negotiations, or tentative agreements can be disclosed in the trial process if it was not finalized in mediation. The mediator cannot be brought as a witness to disclose what was said during mediation, and it all remains private.
Call or Contact Our Office Today
If you would like to learn more about the mediation process or would like to speak with an experienced lawyer about filing for divorce in the Boca Raton area, call or contact the Law Offices of David L. Hirschberg today.