Meditation is a process in which the parties seek to resolve the issues between them with the assistance of a neutral person called a mediator. The mediator does not represent either party. The mediator should not advise the parties regarding the laws applicable to the facts of the case, but rather should refer the parties to their attorneys for such information. The mediator’s role is to facilitate an agreement between the parties.
There are different types of Mediation. In each type of mediation the process of reaching agreement is different.
From Susan's interview for the Masters of Family Law series on ReelLawyers.com.
Parties can mediate all issues in an effort to settle their disputes. They can mediate financial issues such as support and maintenance and/or issues regarding assets and liabilities, and/or custody and access.
We believe that the parties should have attorneys when they mediate. This will allow you to consult with your attorney regarding all matters and offers that arise in mediation. The mediator is expected to remain neutral and not favor either party in the negotiation process. Sometimes the parties mediate without their attorneys present. Sometimes the parties mediate with the presence of their attorneys. Whether your attorney is present with you during the process is a matter of personal preference. You should discuss the issue of whether attorneys should be present with your attorney.
Mediation cannot be successful if both parties do not have a full and complete understanding of all financial issues concerning assets, liabilities, income and expenses. Full and complete disclosure can be made between the parties using the mediator, or with the guidance of attorneys who assist the parties with discovery before or during the mediation process.