At London Family Solicitor we have been mediating online before COVID-19 happened and now we are currently mediating online with all our mediation clients.
The positives of mediating online:
During COVID-19 this is the safest way to ensure clients can mediate by avoiding face to face contact.
If there has been domestic abuse in the relationship clients may not want to arrive and leave the building together. By having the meeting online this helps to solve the problem of arriving or leaving the building at the same time.
If clients do not want to be in the same room to mediate like a shuttle mediation we can use breakout rooms for the meeting on Zoom.
The clients can be based anywhere in the UK or abroad and do not need to travel to our office to attend the mediation meeting.
The negatives of mediating online:
The sessions need to be very frontloaded to ensure that clients have completed and returned mediation documents in advance of the session.
We offer test video calls before the meeting but sometimes technology can fail.
It can sometimes feel draining for all parties to look at a screen for 90 minutes in a joint session so short breaks are encouraged and I aim to have breaks in between mediating meetings to be fresh for the next session.
There have been some security concerns about some online video platforms.
If the battery runs out of a video device during the meeting it is the end of the session if there is no charger nearby so we encourage devices to be fully charged at the start of the meeting.
At London Family Solicitor we are comfortable to mediate online with your preferred online video platform.
It will be interesting to see post COVID-19 if it becomes normal practice to mediate online or if clients prefer to meet face to face when they are making very important decisions regarding their separation.
Austin Chessell is an Accredited Family Mediator, Child Mediator and PPC at London Family Solicitor.
Austin is also a trained Collaborative Family Solicitor.
Phone: 020 3865 1535