The Honesty Policy in Family Law Mediation

Mediation is usually touted as a less expensive, less complex, and less emotionally devastating way to settle family disputes ranging from property, support and custody disputes.  This is absolutely true, but as with any other legal process – or, indeed, any other process that involves you and your family in any sphere – your experience is largely determined by your approach.

When seeking a family law mediator in Pleasant Hill California to assist you with your family issue/s, there are a few ”best practices” it pays to observe if you want the process to be a successful one.

Seek a Balanced Solution

Don’t view the hiring of a family law mediator in Pleasant Hill California as ”your” individual decision and thus ”your” mediator.  You can’t approach mediation as a zero-sum game where someone has to ”win” and someone has to ”lose”.  Sometimes people seek a family law mediator in Pleasant Hill California because they wish to avoid the costs, time, and trouble of litigation, but still want to ”win” against their opponents.  This is the wrong attitude.

Total Disclosure

One of the big advantages of family mediation is its confidentiality.  The only way to truly take full advantage of the process, therefore, is to be completely honest and forthcoming.  Any attempt to hide information and assets, or to misrepresent your situation or attitudes, will usually result in a failure of the mediation process.  California law requires ongoing, full disclosure of all assets and debts of each party in a marriage even during the dissolution process.  A competent and ethical mediator will require full disclosure.


Finally, mediation should not be regarded as a passive experience where you and the other side present arguments and then await judgment.  This is not arbitration or a court hearing.  Listen along with the mediator, and seek to understand the other party’s position.  This will speed up the process and give you the information you need to devise a solution to your issue.