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Keeping divorce mediations confidential in California

Many people get divorced each year in California. During the divorce the couple will go through the process of separating the life they shared during the marriage. This process can be a complicated one as there are many aspects of their life that they will have to separate.

They will have to divide their assets, which includes homes, bank accounts, retirement accounts, investments accounts, vehicles and any other things the couple owns. They will also have to address child custody, parenting time and child support if they have children. They may also have to deal with the issue of alimony or spousal support. Many times they are doing this during a period of time when they are dealing with significant emotional stress.

Eventually every divorce will be resolved, but how it is resolved differs. The couple may go through a contested divorce all the way through a trial and leave everything up to a judge. The couple could also reach resolution on their own through negotiation and settlement discussions. Many have found this to be the better route to go.

One useful tool to assist in these discussions is divorce mediation. During this process a neutral mediator will help assist the couple in reaching settlement. However, in order for the mediation to be effective each side has to be open and honest. That is why mediations are confidential. This means that anything that is said or produced, whether written or oral, in a mediation is confidential and cannot be used later on if the couple does not resolve everything during the mediation.

During the divorce process people in California may come to the realization that settling the matter between themselves is better than having a judge decide it for them. Mediation can be a good tool for the parties to use to assist them if they are having trouble coming to agreements on their own. To ensure the mediation is productive and will help the parties, they are confidential so both people can be open and honest. It is still important to understand the law though and be prepared before going into a mediation to ensure the best results and experienced attorneys understand this aspect of the divorce.

Source: California Legislature, "Evidence Code 1119," accessed on June 5, 2017

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John T. Chamberlin, Attorney at Law
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