Mediator Standard of Conduct Five: Confidentiality.
Confidentiality is not just for the mediation practitioner, it is for all parties at the table and your attorney that might be unbundled representation away from the mediation table.
We all have our circle of trust. Family, BFF’s, friends, Rabbi’s, Clergy etc. We all need some support at times. We totally understand. I have been there too. I had my circle of trust through my divorce.
They are your champion for your cause! Rightfully so. They are your people. They are definitely not going to cheer for the other party in your conflict. It is unnatural to do so, right?
Divorce is fairly common out there. Everyone knows someone that had a sister, best friends’ cousin that had a similar divorce. “You should get this outcome in court, mediation etc.” You start to believe them. All of a sudden the below situation happens.
Or at home you enter in the gross incomes for the both of you and the other items that you think are needed for the Spousal Maintenance Worksheet and it says you are entitled to 6K a month support, dammit you want that 6K for support because you earned it! This is how unrealistic expectations begin.
You consult with your circle they are pleased with that outcome, you see the finish line for this part of the negotiation, however the other side doesn’t see it your way. At all. Now you are mad and not going to settle in mediation, going to trial is the only way you are going to get your 6K a month.
Your neutral cannot prevent you from speaking to others about your mediation process and the details of negotiation. However it is tough to negotiate without your circle of trust not participating in mediation. If you want your circle of trust at mediation see if your mediator will allow it.
It is not that your mediator doesn’t want you to talk to be mean, it can cloud the process for the parties. Leading to unrealistic expectations and outcomes. If you need to consult with an attorney, CPA, Realtor, Mental Health Clinician, etc. with a completed separation agreement, parenting plan or etc. the mediator should encourage you to seek that additional wisdom. That way the person that you trust sees the entire picture of the agreement(s) and is not biased in their assessment of your mediation.
However, having your circle of trust at the mediation table so you can settle and move on from the conflict or with the rest of your life.
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