The Benefits of Online Mediation Before, During, and After COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for many businesses around the world for the past year and a half, and it has been challenging for many marriages and relationships. It has changed the way that companies operate, for better or worse, and has highlighted the importance of using online communication platforms, such as Zoom, in order to stay connected and relevant.
The mediation profession is an area where the increased use of video conferencing has actually helped clients during the pandemic, as it is safe, convenient, efficient, and effective. It is a personal experience without being in-person. The expansion of online dispute resolution has showed no signs of slowing down, and the positive results of its use in mediation indicates that online mediation is here to stay.
Prior to the pandemic closure of businesses, online mediation was gaining momentum but its use during the pandemic took online mediation to another level because of its safety and convenience. People can mediate their cases with parties from different locations, eliminating the amount of time and costs for travel.
Practitioners have observed another benefit of online mediation: the “tension in the room” is more diffused in online mediations because the parties are physically separated and can be less antagonistic towards each other at the onset of mediation.
Some mediators believe that clients feel more at ease being in their own homes during mediation, and they are more comfortable saying things online than they are in saying them in person. The physical distance between the parties, in fact, can help parties move closer to finding solutions.
“It turns out that the appeal of working out the details of your separation at home on your own schedule are compelling benefits…[and] being able to reach agreements from anywhere…can be pretty great.” said Colin Rule, President and CEO of Resourceful Internet Solutions (Family Lawyer Magazine, Fall 2019).
Now that we are moving to the “other side” of the pandemic, courts are slowly opening back up and their caseloads will see an increased level of activity. Getting a date for a divorce hearing may be challenging in some jurisdictions, so now is the perfect time to begin divorce mediation in order to work through the issues that divorcing couples will need to resolve. Covid-19 may be on its way out, but online divorce mediation is here to stay. Contact the Gibson Mediation Group to learn how we can help you through your divorce.
Here are some good reasons to consider online divorce mediation:
Online divorce mediation is convenient
You can meet with the mediator at a time that works for you—daytime, evenings, or even on some weekends.
Online divorce mediation is efficient
You save time by not having to travel to an office and need to simply log into your computer or use your phone.
Online divorce mediation is cost-effective
Online mediation can be done from the privacy of your home so there are not the additional expenses of childcare, travel time, and parking costs. They are no legal fees or hidden overhead costs, and no expensive retainer agreements.
Online divorce mediation minimizes tensions
You will not be in the same room as your partner so you may feel more capable of discussing issues candidly.
Online divorce mediation is private
You and your partner will meet with your mediator to work through your concerns and will not have to argue your case publicly in a court room.
Online divorce mediation is effective
Studies have shown that the success rate for reaching agreements increases in online mediations, as the parties are less confrontational in online settings, and are they more willing to have frank discussions that lead to agreements.