Want Information About Agreements in Divorce Mediation?
CALIFORNIA EVIDENCE CODE
ADMISSABILITY OF WRITTEN SETTLEMENT AGREEMENTS
Evidence Code Section 1123
A written settlement agreement prepared in the course of, or pursuant to,
a mediation, is not made inadmissible, or protected from disclosure, by
provisions of this chapter if the agreement is signed by the settling
parties and any of the following conditions are satisfied:
(1) (a) The agreement provides that it is admissible or subject to disclosure,
or words to that effect.
(b) The agreement provides that it is enforceable or binding or words to
(c) All parties to the agreement expressly agree in writing, or orally
in accordance with
Section 1118, to its disclosure.
(d) The agreement is used to show fraud, duress, or illegality that is
relevant to an issue in dispute.
MEDIATION TIPS: Agreements or stipulations reached in mediation should expressly contain
language stating that they may be disclosed and, for instance, filed with
the Court. In my divorce mediations I typically will discuss with the
parties the merits in having them sign a Stipulation retaining retroactive
jurisdiction to award spousal support or child support, to ensure that
neither party's interests are damaged if the mediation falls out -
this avoids the possibility that one party will attempt to use the mediation
process to delay the creation or payment of such obligations. These stipulations
say that the document will be held by the mediator, but may be filed with
the Court upon the request of either party. I believe it is always essential
to maintain an even playing field in mediation, because I never want either
party to be worse off for having attempted it!