One important thing that parties in mediation need to agree to is full disclosure.
It’s one of the most important things about the process because it’s a good faith process.
Occasionally, though thankfully not often, people in mediation will try to deceive the other person by not giving full information.
Now let’s be clear about something: in mediation you don’t have to say everything about everything in your life. For instance, if you’re in a new relationship, and your ex-partner doesn’t know about that, that might be fine. If it affects children, that’s different but it may not affect anything that’s material to the mediation process. In that case, you don’t have to talk about it.
However, regarding any topic we’re discussing in mediation, there must be full disclosure from both parties. Income, assets and debts are classic topics where people might be tempted to not give full disclosure on. For those who try to deceive the other person, the risk is this: if parties make agreements in mediation on a topic, spousal support for example, when the payer hasn’t fully disclosed all of his income, then the risk is that the person receiving the support will one day find out that there wasn’t full disclosure. In that case, the person can go to court and ask a judge to review the spousal support. If the judge determines there was not full disclosure, they will overturn that part of the agreement and they will make an order regarding that part of the agreement. And as you can imagine, judges are never happy with the people who try to be deceitful in the process. So it’s always best to fully disclose on the topics that are being discussed so that agreements are durable, and both parties can sleep at night knowing that their agreements are solid.
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