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Understanding the Rules of Mediation


Like all forms of divorce, mediation comes with its own set of rules and guidelines. At the beginning of the process, you can expect your mediator to explain how mediation works and review a set of ground rules you and your spouse will be expected to follow. These ground rules are intended to make the mediation process run smoothly and limit the contentious nature of divorce. Refraining from personal attacks, being honest, and pledging to listen respectfully to other parties’ opinions are some common types of ground rules you should expect in mediation.

The rules and guidelines of mediation

If you have chosen mediation for your divorce, understanding the process and rules that are involved will give you a better idea of what to expect. Listed below are some of the rules and procedural guidelines for mediation:

  • Consent. Both parties will give their consent to allow a mediator to act as an advocate on their behalf in order to reach a mutually acceptable divorce settlement.
  • Conditions precedent to serving as a mediator. If any conditions are present that could interfere with the mediator’s ability to do their job, such as a prior relationship with the spouse or some outside influence that could affect their decision making, these conditions must be revealed and considered before the mediation process begins.
  • Non-binding. The rules will establish that the mediation is non-binding.
  • Fees. The rules will set criteria that determine how the mediator’s fees are paid.
  • Good faith. All parties must consent to participate in mediation in good faith with the honest intention of working towards a settlement.
  • Private and confidential. All mediation sessions will be private unless otherwise agreed upon by all parties involved. Records, documents and notes that are received by the mediator are confidential and cannot be shared with outside parties.
  • Parties are responsible for negotiating their own settlement. Unlike in traditional divorce, no settlement can be imposed on the parties. Both parties have the right to accept or decline any settlement that is proposed, and so both parties share the responsible of working towards a suitable settlement.

Contact an experienced mediator for your divorce in Fresno and San Diego

Was your first mediation unsuccessful and now you’re looking for an experienced mediator in Fresno? Contact The Law Office of Rebecca Medina today at 559-324-5427 in Fresno or 858-285-4315 in San Diego. We have years of experience handling mediations in Fresno and San Diego and will be happy to discuss your options moving forward. The Law Office of Rebecca Medina can help you and your spouse get on the path towards reaching a divorce settlement.

Rebecca MedinaAbout the Author: Rebecca Medina

Rebecca Medina is an experienced Family Law attorney, mediator and Collaborative Divorce Lawyer serving the Fresno and San Diego areas. She handles cases ranging from complex divorce matters to child custody, spousal support, prenuptial/postnuptial agreements, QDROs and uncontested divorce cases. She was rated “Clients’ Choice” by Avvo.

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