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Private and Confidential

Jim Robenalt Dec. 13, 2023

One of the benefits of mediation that people appreciate most is privacy.

As a mediator, I create a calm environment where people can work through their differences and carve out a plan for the future of their family. Mediation sessions are confidential. What is said in the confines of a mediation session cannot later be used against the parties in a court of law (there are exceptions, such as the investigation of criminal behavior, but the exceptions rarely apply). Participants to mediation, therefore, are effectively given a sealed space to sort out the terms of their divorce and plan for their future.

Privacy and confidentiality are valued assets because they are often lacking in divorce litigation. So many aspects of your divorce can leak into public view in a traditional adjudicated divorce. As a general matter, court proceedings and court filings are made part of the public record. While sensitive pleadings can be filed under seal, the fact remains that you are opening yourself up to a public process when you litigate. For instance, members of the public are often allowed to attend a hearing in open court and listen in as personal family details are brought to light.

Privacy and confidentiality are also critical benefits of mediation because they help to protect your children. When you are going through the painful process of ending your marriage, the last thing you want is for your dispute to leak out into the public and negatively impact your kids. You do not want the details of your separation filtering back to your kids; or worse, having situations where your children are called to take the stand and testify during a custody battle.

For these reasons, if your goal is to obtain a private and confidential divorce, mediation stands out as the superior choice.