Will our mediation agreement be enforceable?

The whole point of mediation is for parties to reach a resolution on their disagreement(s), and make that resolution acknowledged by the court system. A mediation agreement, once signed by both parties, becomes a legally binding contract. This assures parties that their rights via the mediation agreement are recognized by the law, and therefore they have recourse if one party is not complying with the agreement.

Prior to signing the mediation agreement, anything discussed or mentioned during mediation is considered confidential and is non-binding on either party. This allows for open and free-flowing negotiations. However, once an agreement has been drafted and signed by both parties, the parties are bound by the terms of the agreement.

With the mediation agreement being a legally binding contract between the parties, the parties are assured that they will have protection as they move forward. Their rights and obligations are spelled out in their mediation agreement so that they know exactly what is expected of them and the other party from that point onward.

Thus, it is important that parties to a mediation are completely comfortable and confident with the mediation agreement before signing it. If they have any reservations, it is their responsibility to make sure that the mediator is aware of what they are.

However, this does not mean that a mediation agreement cannot be altered in the future if the need arises. If one or both parties to the mediation agreement are not happy with an aspect of the agreement at a future date, the parties can re-mediate/negotiate any portion of their previous agreement. If they are able to come to a new resolution, the parties can amend their previous mediation agreement with the new terms, and once signed by both parties, it then becomes a new legally binding agreement. However, if an new agreement is not reached, the original agreement will continue to stand.