As this blog has discussed before, divorce mediation is an option for Marlton, New Jersey, residents who want to take an alternative route to litigating a family law issue. While not suitable for all cases, the process of mediation offers several advantages to a couple trying to solve problems related to custody, support or other family law issues.
One of these advantages is the confidentiality of the process. Under the rules of New Jersey that govern mediation, pretty much anything that the couple discusses with their mediator during the course of a mediation will be kept secret.
There are some narrow exceptions to this rule. For example, a mediator may have the option to or even be required to report a threatened criminal act. Details about these exceptions should be discussed with one’s attorney, but, on the whole, one should not be afraid to talk in detail about their case with a mediator.
To some extent, New Jersey residents already enjoy confidentiality during family law litigation. For example, much of what they tell their attorneys in private is secret, as are most communications involving what either party is willing to do to resolve the case outside of court.
However, confidentiality in mediation also allows everyone to speak more freely about the facts of the case, both flattering and otherwise. They can also be honest about the strengths and weaknesses of their respective legal positions.
Outside of mediation, this is highly risky behavior since what gets shared can be used against the person sharing it. Within the context of mediation, though, being frank can serve to build up trust, open the channels of communication and, ultimately, get an agreement without having to go to court.
This post though, serves only to serve as an overview of how confidentiality works in mediation and how it can be of advantage to New Jersey residents trying to solve their family law problems effectively and efficiently. Specific questions and circumstances should be referred to one’s family law attorney.