There is no requirement that both parties must sit in the same room during mediation. Most mediators start the mediation process with both parties and their attorneys in the same room. While everyone is in the same room, generally the mediator will explain the mediation process and the mediator’s role in the process. Thereafter, generally, the parties will go to separate rooms for the rest of the mediation where the mediator gathers information on the parties and the issues, develops and discusses strategy. The mediator will go back and forth to each party’s room in an effort to bring the parties towards compromise. If you do not wish to start mediation in the same room, advise the mediator ahead of time so he or she can prepare accordingly.
Lindsay Corcoran is a Family Law Attorney at Brydger & Porras LLP in Fort-Lauderdale, Florida, where she practices primarily marital and family law in Broward & South Palm Beach Counties.