Are there rules to the mediation process that must be followed?
The participants themselves, with the help of the mediator, will set any rules that will be used in the mediation sessions. No rules of evidence, discovery, or procedure are required in a mediation. The goal of mediation is for you and your spouse to work together as a team striving towards a common goal of a fair settlement.
Most mediators will have parameters that they expect you to adhere to throughout the mediation process. Their parameters are put forth to help you. Mediators learn from experience and without some sort of rules, the whole mediation process would be starting off on the wrong foot. For example, rule number one…"do not interrupt each other". When one spouse is talking or explaining a viewpoint, the other must listen and wait until it is his or her turn to speak or provide a rebuttal. Good parameters prevent chaos. Mediators do not expect all mediation sessions to be perfect, that is without arguments, but they do expect some respect to exist most of the time in order for the actual goal at hand to be achieved. Mediators will quickly drop any clients who refuse to behave during multiple mediation sessions.