June 3, 2020
Online Divorce Mediation Tips
MWI has been providing divorce mediation services in Massachusetts since 1994. Prior to COVID-19, our mediators often provided online divorce mediation when one client was out-of-state. Now that people are staying home during COVID-19, MWI’s divorce mediation services are currently being conducted online only. As such, we have developed a list of online divorce mediation tips.
If you are considering online divorce mediation or have already scheduled an online mediation session with a divorce mediator, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Create a safe and comfortable place to participate. To do so, think through where you want to be during the mediation.
- Where can you be comfortable?
- Where can you be free from distraction?
- Will this space have a reliable internet connection?
- Will my spouse and I be using the same computer to access the mediation or should we be in separate spaces on different devices?
Make sure kids are occupied and out of ear shot. Divorce conversations are for adults’ ears only.
- Prior to the start of the mediation session, can you set up an activity for your children?
Watch a Recorded Webinar about Divorce Mediation
Have a pen and paper nearby or prepare to take notes on the computer in advance.
- Many people who participate in divorce mediation take notes during a mediation session. For example, some take notes to remember what was said or to write down an idea while someone else is speaking. Further, some will generate a list of work to be completed in advance of a next meeting.
- Additionally, prior to a first mediation, some people find it helpful to write down talking points or topics they want to discuss. Here is a topics checklist with child related topics and here is a divorce mediation checklist for people without children.
Test your technology in advance.
- Do you know what technology your mediator will be using? Zoom? Teams? Google Hangouts? Other? Once you find out, download and test the software prior to your first mediation session. As a result, you will save money (from wasting time during a mediation session), and you will have reduced stress the day of the mediation.
- Each MWI divorce mediator currently uses Zoom for our online divorce mediations. You only need to download and set up a free account from www.zoom.us, if you are working with one of our mediators.
Have a snack and water nearby. Perhaps a box of tissues too.
- Many mediators schedule two-hour sessions. You can always ask for a brief break, as it is important to take care of yourself during the mediation session. In other words, having a snack or water nearby may be helpful.
- For some, emotions can run high when talking about divorce. We always have tissues in our office to hand to clients when needed. For online mediation you will need your own.
We hope some of the tips above will help you have a good experience participating in online mediation!
Finally, if you have tips to share, please comment below.
About the Authors
This post was written by Josh Hoch and Abby Connell. Abby is currently a student, trained mediator, and Program Assistant as part of an internship at MWI. For more information about internships at MWI click here.
Some information in this article was used with permission from Ben Stich. Ben created an online mediation checklist which can be found here.
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