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Are mediation sessions confidential?

In Massachusetts, the confidentiality of the divorce mediation process is protected by law. This can make a huge difference in your divorce because some very intimate details about your marriage are bound to come up in the process. If this happens in a divorce litigation, those details will often be included in a court filing, which is a public record and therefore accessible by members of the public. 

In a divorce mediation with a qualified mediator, on the other hand, the confidentiality of any information that gets exchanged during mediation is protected by Ch. 233, s. 23C, so long as both spouses sign a participation agreement before the mediation begins. Importantly, this confidentiality applies even if the mediation process proves to be unsuccessful. This prevents any of the documents or the disclosures made during mediation from getting out into the public eye, protecting your privacy and allowing you to fully participate in the mediation without worrying about divulging something you do not want your neighbors to know about.

In general, a statutory mediator cannot be subpoenaed to testify in court, nor can any of her work product – including notes, documents or recollections of what either party may have said during the course of the mediation – admissible.

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