Family Court Mediation is Confidential

Mediation is required for all contested family court cases in Greenville County and in many other South Carolina counties.  One of the concerns that I hear as a mediator and as a lawyer who attends mediation with his clients is that clients are concerned with what they are saying to a third-party lawyer (the mediator) or the kinds of offers or counter-offers that are being made and how that might come back to haunt them down the road should their case not settle.

In South Carolina, all family court mediations are confidential on several levels.  First, when you communicate something to your mediator, you can specify that you do not wish for the mediator to share that with the opposing party.  Second, everything you discuss in mediation is confidential so that if you and your spouse do not settle the case at mediation, you do not have to worry about them bringing up what you offered in trial.  The mediator cannot be called to testify about the mediation and his notes cannot be subpoenaed.

This confidentiality gives you a “free bite at the apple” so to speak.  You have an opportunity to be creative with your spouse to resolve the contested issues in your case.  You may make some offers that you ordinarily would not in an effort to settle the case without fear that they could be used against you later on.

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