Can I Bring Another Person to a California Divorce/Custody Mediation?

Mediation offers a more constructive, less combative approach to resolving family law issues relating to divorce and/or child custody, and can save you money and time when you and the other party are willing to work with the mediator to reach mutually beneficial solutions out of court. Mediation at its essence is about three people: 1) you; 2) the other spouse/parent; and 3) the mediator. In your mediation session, the mediator will encourage you and the other party to work together to resolve your differences and reach a workable solution so you don’t have to battle it out in court at great expense.

That said, the thought of dealing with stressful topics like money and custody with another spouse/parent who has brought you great pain or even may intimidate you can be unpleasant to say the least, and so a common question is whether a party can bring another person to the mediation.
You Can Bring Another Person, But Both Parties Should Agree
The short answer is that, yes, you are allowed to bring another person to the mediation, such as a friend, clergy person, or family member. Remember that mediation is an out-of-court informal process, and so there is great flexibility in how mediation sessions are run, all in the spirit of reducing stress on you and the court system in reaching a conclusion to your family law issues.

That said, the mediator will want both parties to agree on whoever the other party wants to bring to the mediation session. This makes sense, as you would not want to be subject to your spouse’s even more hostile or unpleasant sibling when you are trying to work together.

It is certainly appropriate for you to think about support persons who will help watch out for your interests and emotional stability during the session, but bringing a person who has their own individual grudge against the other party and/or has a combative personality in general may defeat the entire purpose of the mediation session, wasting your time and money and possibly making everything worse in the long run. Instead, look for a person who will look after your interests while at the same time be constructive in reaching solutions.

Furthermore, you can and should bring your attorney to your mediation session (if you have one), although the mediator may want to speak with you without the presence of your attorney at times.

Help in Your California Divorce MediationThe Pasadena family law attorneys at Kearney | Baker work with clients across Southern California can assist in acting you as a mediator for your divorce or in representing you through a mediation. For help with any family law matter you are facing, please contact the experienced, compassionate family law attorneys at Kearney | Baker today at 626-768-2945.