Mediation is often used for couples filing for divorce these days. Whereas litigation before a judge was the traditional way of doing things, this format has several benefits, most notably it keeps the case out of court. This means that the couple does not have to wait their turn in a crowded court schedule, and that faster resolution keeps the attorney expenses down as well. Families like it because it is less combative and enables the two sides to resolve their issues in a collaborative manner rather than leaving it to a judge. While litigation means public records, mediation is done behind closed doors and thus keeps the details of the split private.
Colorado’s confidentiality clause
Confidentiality is an important part of the mediation process because it enables the parties to speak freely in hopes of resolving the matters collaboratively, or even offers solace knowing that what is said in communications will not be held against them if the case does go to court. Nevertheless, there are reasons for invalidating this protection:
- If both parties and the mediator agree in writing to allow information from mediation to become public.
- There was criminal intent or the threat of injury to adults or the safety of minors.
- There was misconduct or malpractice on the part of the mediator.
Legal guidance is still a part of the equation
Mediation is a less formal process, but it still determines many important family and financial issues. Clients can work with a third party litigator, or each side can lean on the guidance of their own attorney during this process to ensure that their individual and parental rights are protected. The right attorney also holds the other side accountable during and after the negotiations to ensure that the rules of the agreement are honored, including the confidentiality of the agreement.