People often ask me about mediation. Mediation occurs when two parties to a divorce try to negotiate an amicable settlement with the help of a neutral third party. I am all in favor of mediation, though because it costs quite a bit I usually try to resolve the case directly with the other party’s attorney. If that does not work, then I often propose that the parties and attorneys agree to participate in mediation.
The mediators that I use are professional mediators who have had specific training in resolving divorce cases. They have knowledge about financial issues and custody / parenting time issues. usually the mediators I use are attorneys who have had additional training as a third party neutral.
Mediation is voluntary. It is also confidential. If the parties do not resolve the case, none of the things that are said in mediation can be repeated to the judge or used in the courtroom. The only exception to this rule is that if there are credible allegations of child abuse, the mediator is obligated to do what the law requires and report the abuse to the proper legal authority.
People should never use someone they know personally to try to broker a divorce agreement. This is a bad idea for several reasons. It unfairly puts someone in the middle and often demands of them skills that they do not have. Similarly, people should never use a priest, pastor, minister or rabbi to try to broker a divorce agreement. Generally speaking, people like this just lack the specific legal knowledge needed to bring about a reasonable (and enforceable) agreement.
If you have more quesitons about divorce mediation in Minnesota, please feel free to call me at (952) 270-7700.