Virtual divorce mediation provides an alternative to in-person mediation perfect for divorcing couples who may not live in the same area, have conflicting schedules, or would prefer to handle things without being present in the same place.
For those who have previously participated in in-person mediation, adjusting to virtual mediation can be quite a change. Despite the technology, virtual divorce mediation works much the same way as in-person mediation and can offer a more flexible solution.
Here’s what you need to know if you’re choosing virtual divorce mediation to ensure the best process and results possible.
Do Choose a Mediator That Specializes in Virtual Mediation
There are many divorce mediators to choose from, but most are more intimately familiar with in-person mediation. While this is a valuable skill, you’ll want to look for someone that specialized in virtual mediation if that’s how you’re planning to approach the divorce. A virtual divorce mediator will be familiar with the technology used and can help facilitate a productive session.
Do Prepare Your Space
Before you begin your virtual mediation session, prepare your space for what’s to come. First, find a quiet area that will allow you to be interruption-free for the duration of your mediation session. Mediations can take many hours, so be sure you’ll have long-term access to this space. It could be a home office, car, private meeting room, or anywhere you’ll have privacy.
Consider your background – are there any personal details visible? Is it distracting? Many tech platforms will allow you to choose a new digital background for more privacy. If that’s not an option, try moving to a space with a neutral background.
Mediation can take a while. Prepare your space with access to water and any snacks you may need.
Do Prepare Your Technology
Since you’ll be relying on technology to facilitate your session, you want to be confident in your network, connection, and skills using that particular platform. Well before the session begins, check your internet speed to ensure your location has the network infrastructure to support teleconferencing. Also, check your audio and video and consider using earphones or a microphone to improve sound quality if necessary.
Your mediation session shouldn’t be the first time you’re using that particular technology platform. Ask your mediation what platform you’ll be using and try it out ahead of time so you understand how to use it correctly.
Don’t Wait to Provide Materials
Ensure you provide your mediation with any necessary documents and materials well before the session begins. Providing these documents in digital file format can be even more helpful. On your end, you should also have copies of these documents readily available to access as needed.
Don’t Talk Over People
The subtleties of virtual mediation etiquette can be lost on those participating in it for the first time. The most important thing to remember is to use good communication skills and not talk over others. It can be hard without being present in the same space but allowing for space after someone finishes speaking can ensure no one has to repeat themselves and keep the session productive.
Choosing Virtual Divorce Mediation
Virtual divorce mediation may not be right for everyone, but for some, it eliminates the need for both parties to be in the same location and can make conversations more productive. It’s also more flexible for those with busy schedules and still allows both parties access to expert guidance from a neutral third party.
Ready to begin with virtual divorce mediation? Contact Natalie Baird Mediations. Natalie Baird-King is a Supreme Court Certified Family Law Mediator who has helped divorcing couples throughout the Tampa Bay Area reach agreeable settlements through a more amicable divorce process. Contact her to get started.