Mediation refers to the process in which a trained, impartial individual, referred to as a mediator, helps individuals communicate with each other, better understand each other, and potentially come to an agreement. However, many people wonder if they are required to go through mediation in Maryland. To help you understand the answer to this question, in the below post, we will review in detail the mediation process and provide you with Maryland’s laws regarding mediation.  

mediation in maryland

The Mediation Process

In Maryland, mediation is a voluntary process. In a mediation, if the individuals participating cannot come to an agreement, they will not be forced to come up with a solution. Mediation agreements are only complete when the parties in the mediation are satisfied with the outcome and will sign the final agreement. 

In addition, while a Maryland court may order individuals to attend a mediation, the court cannot force parties to come to an agreement. Consequently, if the participants in a court-ordered mediation during pending litigation cannot reach an agreement, then said parties will proceed with their case through litigation. More importantly, mediation is confidential, which means that neither the mediator nor the parties can testify about the communications that occurred during the mediation process. Mediators must keep the information and details of the mediation confidential.

Mandatory and Voluntary Mediation

When in litigation, unless there are domestic violence issues, some Courts will require the parties to participate in mediation in order  to provide an opportunity for the parties involved to contemplate a settlement at an earlier stage in the dispute resolution process. This ultimately saves the participants both time and money. In addition, mandated mediation enables both parties to reach a resolution that is mutually beneficial, rather than engaging in the litigation process where typically only one party emerges as the winner.

However, at any time before, during, or after litigation, the parties can participate in private mediation with a mutually-agreed-upon mediator.  

The Confidentiality of Mediation

The mediator and all the participating parties of a mediation must maintain the confidentiality of the communications that happened during the mediation. This rule exists to create a safe space for participants to freely discuss the issues and work towards solutions without fear of their words being used against them.

However, it should be noted that not all the information discussed in the mediation will be protected solely because it was mentioned during a mediation. Any details, information, or facts subject to discovery will not fall under the protection of confidential mediation communications. 

Should You Consider Mediation?

Mediation is often known as a cost-effective alternative to litigation. In mediation, the details of the case will not become public record, which makes it easier for participants to manage the disclosure of confidential financial information and the underlying cause of a dispute. Mediation also allows participants to take control of the outcome in the case, which can be beneficial for all those involved.

How Can Rice Law Help With Your Mediation Needs?

At Rice Law, we know the strain that can result from family disagreements. While litigation is an option to resolve these issues, the process can be time-consuming, expensive, and cause many more problems down the road. However, mediation may be another option for those dealing with family law issues.  Our skilled mediators are dedicated to promoting open communication and helping clients find mutually beneficial solutions that can provide them with the following benefits: timely resolutions, confidentiality, cost-effectiveness, and the ability to control the process.

If you are considering mediation for a family law matter, our mediators can help you to find common ground on issues related to:

  • Child Custody
  • Child Support
  • Divorce Settlements
  • Prenuptial Agreements

Contact Rice Law Today

To learn more about the mediation process or how our legal team can assist you, contact Rice Law today. 

Blogs published by Rice Law are available for informational purposes only and are not considered legal advice on any subject matter. The reader understands that by viewing blog posts no attorney-client relationship is created between the reader and the blog publisher, Rice Law. The blog should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed professional attorney, and readers are urged to consult their own legal counsel on any specific legal questions concerning a specific situation.