In many ways it is very simple. Mediation online or in person brings together two people who are no longer in a relationship, but who need to sort out how to resolve any disagreements about their children and finances. Easy hey?
Mediating online is a little bit different mediating in person. Prior to any mediation, the initial telephone call is really important. It's at that point where we can talk about the options available to you, including seeing mediators actually in person, and why that might be more right in your circumstances. However it also gives an opportunity to talk about exactly what you need to be able to mediate online, and how the process works. As with everything, there are pros and cons.
To mediate online you need access to:
Unless you're used to using web conferencing/chatting facilities, you may need a little help just feel familiar with the process and to understand what kind happen. Skype is the most commonly platform used for domestic purposes,
We can talk through what checks you need to do and want different systems require. We also have a test without the other party hasn't to make sure everything is working and will be fit for purpose.
At the point of mediation, it's important that there are no avoidable distractions. It might mean that you have mobile phones turned off. The kids need to be put in front of the DVD, or perhaps someone needs to come and sit with them. If the doorbell goes you may have to really consider whether or not you need to answer it!
By putting simple procedures in place to limit distractions and disturbances it's possible to have a really productive online mediation session.
Sometimes, of course, technology lets us down. If it does, we will all try and resume the mediation as quickly as possible. If for any reason the technology really does baffle us, we might have to arrange for another time.
During the mediation, it's not acceptable for anyone else to be in the room, or for any part of the session to be recorded. This is set out very clearly in the Agreement to Mediate, I remind everybody at the start of every session about these rules, and the fact that you signed a legal agreement. It's important that everyone can feel secure in the mediation and that all participants in the process is treated with respect. A breach of that confidentiality or trust will be dealt with by seeking damages and redress for breach of contract, reports will be made to the necessary authorities and the mediation process will terminate.
I'm always very happy to answer questions about mediation online, and there is a body of research which suggests works very well. With my solicitor's hat, I deal with education and school appeal cases on a nationwide basis and have done for the last six years. I only ever use telephone, Skype or Zoom and rarely see clients in person. That has never been a problem and I'm always very happy to talk about how this has worked for me over time.
You have any questions, queries, thoughts or concerns don't hesitate, pick up the phone up and give me a ring on 0333 7729763.
'The first time I spoke to John I put the phone down thinking I’d just spoken to a friend, not a solicitor that I had never met. Throughout, John communicated to me on my level and was always clear, easy to understand and prepared to explain his reasoning.'MW