Settling a divorce in Florida through mediation offers you several potential advantages over a traditional divorce proceeding in court. We at the law office of Michael E. Golub have found that mediation typically proceeds more quickly than a court case, is less expensive, fosters a cooperative atmosphere to avoid an adversarial environment and preserves communication on all sides.
Because divorce involves the end of an intimate relationship, there are personal matters that may arise which you may prefer to keep confidential, even from your spouse. While a divorce mediator works with both parties at the same time, it is not always necessary or desired for both parties to be in the same room during the mediation. If it is the case that your spouse and his or her representative are not in the same room and you give information to the mediator that you do not want the other party to know, you would need to inform the mediator that the information is to remain confidential. Be aware, however, that any information included in the final agreement will become part of the public record once filed with the court.
Your concern may not be keeping confidential information from your spouse but ensuring that the mediation proceedings do not become known to the outside world. You can rest easy on that score, as everything discussed during mediation is confidential. Your mediator cannot testify in court as to information disclosed in mediation, and there are rules that prevent the mediator from talking about the situation with anyone outside of the mediation.
However, there are legal limits to confidentiality. By law, your mediator must report if someone expresses an intent to commit a crime. Similarly, your mediator must refer reports of abuse of a vulnerable person, such as an elderly adult or a child, to the appropriate agency.
Mediating your divorce to work out any unresolved issues before filing sometimes means that your attorney can file an uncontested divorce. More information about divorce mediation is available on our website.