Court Mandated Mediation – Recommendation

If mediation IS NOT confidential in your County (meaning they do make a recommendation to the court), then read the following slowly….

First and foremost, be careful. Everything you say, every thing you do (or not do), every action, every reaction, every statement or lack of statement, can and will be used against you by the mediator in their recommendation to the court.

Why? Because mediators are people with similar biases, prejudices, preconceived notions, belief in stereotypes and other dysfunctions – just like normal people. It is extremely unfortunate confidentiality is not mandated because in recommendation mediation, any and all of any particular mediators’ biases, prejudices, stereotypes and preconceived notions will have an effect on their “recommendation” to the court – a recommendation which the court will almost always follow.

If mediation is not confidential then you will need to dress, walk, talk and act as if you are in front of the judge. You will want to present your reasons and explanations for what you are asking without making disparaging remarks about the other parent and without the need to justify your reasons. This is a time to show how you can stay out of the garbage pit of emotions, time to show you can stay focused on the best interests of your children, and time to demonstrate how you plan on making your parenting plan work for all concerned.

Remember, if mediation is not confidential, then everything – and I mean everything – can be and will be subjectively evaluated by the mediator. The mediator’s subjective evaluation, including all of their biases, prejudices, preconceived notions and stereotype beliefs, will impact their recommendation to the court.

This is the time and place to demonstrate your friendliness, the openness from which you are willing to deal in mediation, and your pleasant personality in getting along with the other parent, all of which will go a long way towards warming the mediator to your way of thinking.

Personal Note
As a former mediator in a non-recommendation county, I find it very difficult to believe mediators within the recommendation model actually believe they can learn the dynamics of a particular family system and become so familiar with its functioning that they can ethically make a valid custody and visitation recommendation. I have experienced a vast number of complete custody evaluations where after months of studying the family the evaluator expresses a very deep conflict over what to recommend for a particular family. Yet, in the recommendation model, mediators believe they have enough information within hours, not months, to actually make a neutral unbiased recommendation. Really? Mediators can do what a custody evaluator can not do even after studying the family for months? This is one of the more obvious forms of family abuse that families are subjected to within the adversarial family court system.