Divorcing spouses considering using mediation to arrive at an equitable divorce settlement outside of court may benefit from learning which events can lead to the termination of the mediation process. According to the California’s state code, there are several conditions that could warrant ending any ongoing mediation. The process normally ends when the parties involved fully resolve the dispute and execute an agreement by drafting a written settlement. Mediation may also end if the dispute is resolved with an oral agreement that complies with specific criteria.

According to Section 1118 of the California Evidence Code, the oral agreement must be recorded via a reliable means of recording audio or by a court reporter, and the mediator and both parties are required to be present when the recording occurs. The terms must be recited on the recording, and both parties must express their agreement to the terms on record as well. Both parties must also clearly state that the terms are binding and enforceable on the recording. In addition, state law requires the oral agreement to be transcribed and signed by both parties within 72 hours following the recording.

Mediation may end if the mediator issues a written statement of termination to both parties; it may also end if one or both parties involved terminates the process through a written statement. The process may also be terminated if there is no communication between any of the parties and the mediator for at least 10 days. If both parties reach a partial agreement, in a written or oral statement, the mediation may be terminated as well.

People who need help understanding more about the divorce mediation process may benefit from contacting legal representation. While this blog contains some useful and basic information, each situation is different and requires a uniquely tailored approach. A family law attorney could provide more information and help file the necessary documents on behalf of one of the spouses.

Source: CA Codes, “Evidence Code Section 1115-1128“, October 10, 2014