Mediation an Abysmal Failure in Family court settings.

Interested parents who are going through the family court nightmare that exists in this country are routinely ordered into mediation.

The only point of mediation according to the family code is to “mediate” an agreement. If there is no agreement the mediator has to inform the court as to the contested issues which are either set for hearing, for an evaluation or for a trial.  So after waiting around for one hour parents are herded into a room to attempt to mediate an agreement in thirty minutes or less.

Family code 3185 (a) specifies:  If issues that may be resolved by agreement pursuant to Section 3178 are not resolved by an agreement of all the parties who participate in mediation, the mediator shall inform the court in writing and the court shall set the matter for hearing on the unresolved issues.

Section 3178 relates to issues concerning custody and visitation.

The recommendation provided by the mediator to the court consists of the mediator’s allegations of what a child or parent stated during the course of mediation. The point is to provide information to the judicial officer involved in an attempt to reach an agreement between the parties. However, there is a small problem with that scenario.  Not only is it considered hearsay under CA evidence code section 1200 (b) but a mediator’s recommendation and any statement obtained during mediation is considered confidential information under CA evidence code section 1115, 1118, 1119, and 1121 and cannot be adopted as any order without the written or oral agreement to the recommendation during a hearing, and is inadmissible as evidence in any civil proceeding, which includes family law.  This scenario has already been upheld numerous times with Supreme Court and Appeal court rulings, where the absolute confidentiality rule is cited to apply under any circumstances.

Mediation should be stopped at the point where the parties specify that there is no agreement. It is a ludicrous scenario to psychologically and emotionally abuse children during mediation to merely confirm “yes daddy promised me a puppy”. As any normal parent would say, so what?.   Yet in a family court setting a parent actually has been sanctioned with his own daughter for promising his daughter a puppy, and taking her out of school.

Some of the statements that are alleged during mediation categorically confirm that people who are employed in the family court system and who specifically want to keep spiteful litigation going between parents to fund their own salaries live on another planet. The fictitious statements that are alleged to uphold some of the Court’s fabricated orders place a whole new dimension on fairy tales and their fictitious nature is blatantly obvious to any lay person without a law degree.  The sole purpose in that scenario is to corrupt legal proceedings to prevent a parent from addressing what the actual issues are.

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