Divorce Mediation Process – How Mediation Works

Option To Have Two Mediators

At Zonder Family Law Mediation our approach to divorce mediation is unique. Our mediation are conducted by lead mediation counsel, Lisa Zonder. If agreed, she enlists the help of divorce experts such as a financial specialist or divorce coach. They work together as a team to provide you with the guidance and support needed to settle your case.

Our mediation is not based on gimmicks but rather on realistic assessment and analysis and hard negotiation. We work hard to help you settle your dispute. We use countless mediation tools in our mediator’s toolbox to try and facilitate an agreement.

Beginning Mediation

Mediation starts when the parties sign a written agreement. A sufficiently detailed written agreement must be provided to the Mediator.

Attendance By Decision Makers

Attendance by appropriate decision-makers greatly enhances the chances of successful dispute resolution. Each side is encouraged to ensure that any person whose approval is needed for resolution attend the mediation.

Mediation Briefs

We encourage each party to submit a mediation brief if there are multiple issues to be mediated.

The Mediation-Opening Statement

At the beginning of the session the mediators will briefly meet with counsel for all parties. They will make a brief opening statement setting forth the “ground rules”.  If counsel and the mediators agree, the mediation will then proceed to a session attended by all parties and counsel. At this joint session, counsel and the parties will be given an opportunity to speak and present their thoughts. Once the joint session is completed, or if there is no joint session, the remainder of the mediation is usually composed of a series of alternate separate sessions between the mediators and each of the parties. We call these caucuses.


All briefs submitted and all statements made at mediation are confidential. At the beginning of the mediation, all parties and counsel will be asked to sign an agreement confirming the confidentiality of all materials submitted and statements made at the mediation.


If your matter is settled at the mediation, generally a hand written or computer generated summary of the agreement will be prepared and signed by all parties and counsel. The mediators will work with counsel to prepare a memorandum that accurately and effectively represents the parties’ agreement. Generally, thereafter, a comprehensive settlement agreement and/or release will be prepared by counsel for the parties.

Binding Nature Of The Agreement

Generally speaking, California law provides that an agreement reached in mediation is NOT enforceable, admissible or discoverable unless the parties agree otherwise. For details of the legal requirements regarding enforceability, admissibility and discover ability, see California Evidence Code Sections 1115-1128.

View our Mediation Packages or call 805‑777‑7740