Court Mandated Mediation – Confidential

In California, if custody or visitation are being contested, both parents must attend court connected mandatory mediation. However, not all of the counties follow the requirement of confidential mediation. You will want to check with your local family court mediation department as to whether or not they follow the requirements of confidential mediation.

There may be no court connected mandatory mediation process in your state. To find out about your state requirements, check with your local family court personnel.

If you reside in California, or If your state has court connected mandatory mediation, you will want to discover whether such mediation is confidential or recommendation based. If your mediation is confidential mediation, then feel free to express yourself fully to the mediator as to what you believe is in your children’s best interests.

In mediation, as in life, treat the other parent as you would want to be treated. Mediation will generally work out better for you if you do not use the process to try to heal your hurts and pains of the break up of your relationship.

You will want to take to your mediation appointment a written parenting plan outlining exactly what you believe is the best parenting plan for your children. Remember, this is mediation, not court. However, just like in court, you will seldom get everything you want from mediation. I typically tell my clients if you get 80% or better of what you are asking for, take it – it will probably be better than rolling the dice with the judge.

On the other hand, if you are getting less than 80%, then you are probably better off taking your issues to the judge. This suggestion is based solely on my experience with United Fathers of America for over 30 years and my experience as a mediator with the Los Angeles County Mediation and Conciliation Courts.