Covid-19 has changed our society in a number of ways. And when it comes to resolving disputes, virtual mediation has emerged as a preferred method for family law, workplace, and business-related conflicts. Virtual mediation was used to some extent before the Covid outbreak, but by the height of the pandemic, nearly all disputes were being mediated remotely.
Earlier this year, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that virtual mediation is here to stay for work-related disputes because of its popularity among both employees and employers. For couples who are getting a divorce, virtual divorce mediation is a popular option as well.
Not only is virtual mediation safer from a health standpoint, but it is also more convenient, especially for spouses who travel a lot or are otherwise too busy to schedule an in-person session. Some spouses do not like to be in the same room with their soon-to-be ex for various reasons, and this is another reason why they may want to use virtual mediation sessions.
If you and your spouse have decided to opt for virtual divorce mediation, there are some important things to keep in mind as you prepare for your remote sessions:
Provide Required Information Before the Session Starts
Before the date of your mediation sessions, be sure to provide the mediator with all of the documents and information they have requested. Completing all this prior to the date of your sessions will help ensure that your virtual mediation will go more smoothly.
Take Care of Your Kids Ahead of Time
Before your virtual mediation session, it is a good idea to make sure that your kids are kept occupied. If you have younger children, find a sitter for them or have one of your relatives come over and watch them. Or if the session is later in the evening, try to get them to sleep before the mediation gets started.
Test Your Internet and App Connections
Technology is great, but it also has a way of acting up at just the wrong time. To lessen your chances of this happening, test all of your connections beforehand to make sure everything is working. A large number of mediation sessions are conducted using Zoom or a similar platform. Perform a speed test and an internet “stress test” to ensure that your location has the required bandwidth to connect smoothly.
Use Separate Devices to Connect
If you and your spouse are in separate physical locations for your virtual mediation session, then you can skip this point as it does not apply to you. If, however, you are in the same location and you are connecting remotely only to the mediator, it is always best to connect using separate devices.
If you both connect through the same device, it may be difficult for the mediator to discern who is talking as you and your spouse may be talking over each other at times. When you are on separate devices (and ideally in separate rooms), it is easier to keep order and allow each participant to speak when it is their turn.
Ensure Session Confidentiality
As you conduct your virtual mediation sessions, be mindful of who is there with you and take steps to ensure that the sessions stay confidential. Where ear pods when you connect, so no one else in the house can hear what others in the meeting are saying. And try to stay as secluded as possible from others in the house so you can also speak privately during the session.
Virtual mediation should be treated the same way as you would an in-person session. This is an important meeting that will determine a great deal about your future and the future of your family, and you should be serious about it. Show respect for other participants by dressing professionally and sitting at a table or a desk rather than lying on a bed or lounging on a couch.
Silence Your Phone
Do not forget to silence your phone before you start your virtual mediation session. In relation to the last point, this is a serious discussion, and the last thing you need is to be interrupted repeatedly by calls and text messages.
Contact AMS to Learn More about Virtual Divorce Mediation
Virtual mediation is an increasingly preferred way for couples to work out the details of their divorce when it is time to move on. Remote mediation sessions can be conducted from anywhere in the world as long as you have a stable internet connection. You can also do remote mediation by phone if you prefer by using conference calling technology. The way it is done is up to you based on your own needs and preferences.
At Advanced Mediation Solutions (AMS), we have been providing virtual divorce mediation for several years, and we have helped numerous couples settle their divorces this way without the need for a costly and protracted court proceeding. To find out more about how we can help you, call us today at (856) 669-7172 or send us an online message. We offer flexible mediation options, and we are ready to get started whenever you are.