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Response to Ted from Chula Vista:

In confidential divorce mediation conducted by family law attorney/mediators at NCRC, the mediators make sure that the parties know what the relevant laws are before they make their decisions. Some parties come to mediation with little or no understanding of what they are entitled to or what their responsibilities are according to the law. The mediator’s role is to give legal information, not advice, about the relevant laws, the court process, etc.

Mediators do not want parties be “duped” in mediation because of something they don’t know. It is their job to make sure that there is informed consent before anyone agrees to anything that is significantly different than what a court might do. The mediators encourage the parties to seek independent counsel from individual family law attorneys on a consulting basis, who can give them advice.

In addition, the agreement that the couple reaches is submitted to the court for a judge’s review and signature. If the judge thinks that someone is giving up something important that they are entitled to, they may not sign off on the paperwork.

I appreciate you posing challenges such as this and welcome comments and questions from others.

— ROBIN SEIGLE

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