Family Mediation has become a popular alternative to litigation, as it allows both parties to reach a mutually acceptable agreement to settle disputes. However, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, many have wondered how mediation can operate if we can’t be in the same room.
Fortunately, there are alternative methods of mediation that provide a solution to this issue. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how mediation works if we can’t be in the same room, the benefits of alternative methods, and what to expect from virtual mediation
How Does Mediation Work If We Can’t Be in the Same Room Family Mediation Choice
Alternative methods of mediation allow you to conduct the process from the comfort of your own home, without the need to be in the same room. There are various forms of alternative methods, including virtual mediation, hybrid mediation, and shuttle diplomacy.
Virtual mediation involves a video conference platform such as Zoom, where the mediator and both parties can join from separate locations. Hybrid mediation is a combination of in-person and virtual mediation, where one party may be present in the same room while the other party attends remotely. Shuttle diplomacy involves the mediator speaking separately with each party, which has the added benefit of keeping tensions low by minimizing face-to-face interaction.
The Benefits of Alternative Methods of Family Mediation
Alternative methods of mediation offer a variety of benefits for both parties, particularly during the current pandemic. Virtual mediation saves time and money by eliminating the need for travel arrangements and eliminating potential exposure to viruses. Privacy is also retained as you can join from a private location. Virtual mediation is often more flexible to fit your schedule, and in case of cancellations or postponements due to unforeseen circumstances, this flexibility is a lifesaver.
What to Expect From Virtual Family Mediation
Virtual mediation is similar to traditional mediation, with the mediator facilitating the conversation between both parties, except in this case the conversation happens through a video conference platform. Prior to the mediation, the mediator will conduct a pre-session to discuss expectations, the process timeline and associated fees.
The pre-session is also a good opportunity to check out the platform, practice navigating the software and get comfortable with the video conferencing setup. During the mediation process, each party will provide an opening statement, followed by a discussion facilitated by the mediator.
Once an agreement is reached, the mediator will review the terms with both parties and create a written agreement to be signed digitally. Virtual mediation can be hosted by a local mediator or one who is located out of town, and it can be used for a variety of disputes, including divorce, contract disputes, and neighbour conflicts.
Tips for Successful Virtual Mediation
While virtual mediation has great benefits, it can be overwhelming. Having a few tips handy can make a huge difference and determine the success of the mediation. Start with a reliable internet connection and adequate lighting, it’s important to optimize your web cam use so that the right angles and lighting adjust as deemed fit. Test the platform before the mediation even happens to prevent any glitches or bugs during the mediation session itself.
Dress appropriately, if you dress for success, it gives you the confidence to handle the mediation smoothly. Remember to review your agreements ahead of time and have a charged device fully ready for the session, this will save time and prevent unnecessary interruptions during the mediation process. Finally, recognise that virtual mediation may take more strategy and preparedness than in-person mediation and ensuring your comfort level with the technology beforehand can make a huge difference in ensuring its success.
Contact Family Mediation Choice today and take your first step to resolving disputes
Mediation can still take place even if we can’t be in the same room. Alternative methods of mediation such as virtual mediation offer numerous advantages, including convenience, flexibility, time and cost savings as well as privacy from the comfort of your home. With the right preparation and mindset, virtual mediation can be an effective method of resolving disputes that allow both parties to walk away satisfied and confident in their agreements. See our fees here.