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Open vs closed mediation

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  • Open vs closed mediation

    we are at the start of what looks like a custody battle... The other party is not agreeable to closed mediation, only wants open mediation.

    Any idea what the motives can be? Almost looks like they dismiss the chances of success of the mediation... and prepare for trial. We are afraid an open mediation would affect what is said in mediation, and some information would be withheld.

  • #2
    What is open and closed mediation? I've never heard of that distinction before.


    • #3
      Originally posted by winterwolf7 View Post
      What is open and closed mediation? I've never heard of that distinction before.
      Ontario Association for Family Mediation: Open vs. Closed


      • #4
        My personal experience, my ex lies like a rug. If I'd gone to closed mediation I would've had to spend a ton of energy and time sooting down her crap and locating files, attendance records and statements to prove it, and because it was closed it wouldn't count if mediation failed. Then she'd have come up with new lies for the trial and I'd have gone through whole process again. So I insisted on open and she then refused mediation.

        For me I did't want to spend the time, money and emotioal exhaustion on something that would never leave the room if it failed.


        • #5
          Wow, so the other side wants OPEN mediation so that you might be able to use what was discussed/etc in court? Dear Lord, why have you not jumped on that?

          As long as you are making a reasonable settlement (lowball them a bit so you have something to offer up during mediation.) then this would be ideal to push towards a settlement.

          Just make sure you get it clearly documented what is allowed/not allowed to be disclosed in court.

          Do you suspect ulterior motives with this?


          • #6
            Yes, we suspect there are further motives. We suspect the other party to be very uncooperative during mediation, in order to get to the custody assessment or court.

            We believe the other party would speak more openly knowing it couldn't be used in court.


            • #7
              I think open mediation means anything can be used in court.
              Closed mediation means nothing can be used in court unless both parties agree mediation negotiation &/or results can be used in court.
              I think that's the difference....


              • #8
                If the other party isn't agreeable to closed mediation, then why bother asking the question? It seems it's not about mediation to get resolution, but mediation for tactical reasons. In terms of evidence gathering, it's only the beginning and shouldn't dissuade anyone from trying mediation. I recommend putting best effort into mediation regardless and let the chips fall where they may.


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