As this blog has discussed on previous occasions, divorce mediation proceedings, and, for that matter, court-supervised mediations in general, are confidential.
This means a number of things. For one, offers to settle a case during mediation cannot later be used as evidence against one side or the other. So, for example, if a Denver resident in the course of mediation expressed a willingness to give up primary custody to the other parent, his offer cannot later be used to prove he is not interested in having custody.
In Colorado, confidentiality also applies to other statements that the parties make to the mediator or to each other in the course of the mediation, either through the mediator or to each other. This rule allows the parties to discuss their respective cases more candidly, making mediation more like a negotiation instead of a competition.
In order to understand exactly when and to what extent a person's divorce mediation is protected by confidentiality rules, a person should speak to her attorney. Hopefully, however, these general principles can help a Centennial better understand how mediation might help her in her case.
By way of example, a high profile couple might want to consider mediation as a more private alternative to a drawn-out court battle. This can not only save a lot of time and expense but also a great deal of emotional stress that comes with being under the public microscope.
As a word of caution, however, just because mediation proceeding are confidential, it does not mean that settlement agreements filed with a court will also remain private.
Still, while not right for every case, divorce mediation gives couples the opportunity to work out their differences quietly during what is already no doubt a difficult time in their lives.