Confidentiality is a critical aspect of pre-suit divorce mediation, allowing the parties to discuss the intimate details of their marriage in a private setting and resolve their issues without creating a permanent public record.
Traditional adversarial divorce proceedings are conducted in courts of public record, and are litigated in much the same manner as any other lawsuit, even though they typically involve issues that are extremely intimate and personal. Pre-suit mediation is a very different process that requires the parties to openly discuss and attempt to resolve the issues in good faith, and the mediator’s primary role is to facilitate a safe and neutral space for these communications to occur.
The success of mediation depends, among other things, upon open and honest communication, without the fear that any statements made during the process could come back to haunt one of the parties in future court proceedings should negotiation efforts fail. Therefore, the confidentiality of all discussions and statements occurring during mediation enjoys very strong protection under Florida law and is a cornerstone of the mediation process.
Confidentiality is also required to protect mediators from being called to testify in future court proceedings if the parties are unable to resolve their differences through mediation. Mediators are required to remain neutral throughout the process, and are not permitted to pass judgment or make any determinations as to which party is right or wrong. If mediators could be compelled to testify, it would completely compromise their neutrality and would defeat the entire purpose of mediation.
If you are contemplating divorce, please contact Healthy Family Mediation Center to learn more about our confidential pre-suit mediation services.