Online mediation, where it is conducted remotely via video calls, is nothing new. However, it has experienced a surge in popularity as a result of the pandemic. Many separating couples have found that conducting mediation online means they can progress with the process more rapidly and more easily around their busy lives. There are also some who find the process is easier to manage, as they do not have to be physically present in the same room as their former partner. However, there are also some challenges that can come with online mediation, particularly if preparations are not carefully considered in advance. To get the most out of your online mediation, here are some tips to prepare:
1. Familiarise yourself with the platforms being used
It is important that you are familiar with the video platform that is being used; most commonly MS Teams or Zoom. It is helpful to test the application in advance and to check your microphone and camera are working properly when logged on.
2. Stable internet
To allow the process to run smoothly, try to ensure that you have a strong and stable internet connection. You can test the speed of your internet via Google. It may be worth checking if there are certain places with a better wifi connection or whether your mobile phone’s 4G connection is faster (albeit being careful for any service provider charges).
3. Charge devices
If you are using a mobile device, tablet or laptop then where possible have these plugged in. however, if that is not possible then always ensure you have a full charge before starting any mediation session.
4. No distractions
Mediation is a confidential process so you should make sure you are alone in the room where you will be for the entirety of the session and to ensure it is not able to be overheard or recorded. If it is not possible to be completely away from others then it may be suitable to wear headphones. It is also recommended that other devices are on silent, and surrounding potential distractions such as the television or the radio are switched off.
5. Have important information handy
Before your mediation session begins, try to ensure that you are fully prepared with any documentation needed to hand. It can also be helpful to have access to your emails throughout, ideally on a separate screen where available, so you have access to documents shared in the process. It is also a good idea to have a pen and paper with you so you can make notes as needed.
Online mediation often allows for clients to be in a more relaxed and familiar environment, whether their own home or a familiar office setting. However, it is important to ensure that you are in a comfortable location. Mediation sessions will often last between one to two hours, so having a comfortable chair, a drink and other comforts can help. You should also consider that the mediation session may involve challenging conversations, so avoiding a room where you may be trying to relax later on (for example a bedroom) may be preferable where possible.
Consistent with our policy when giving comment and advice on a non-specific basis, we cannot assume legal responsibility for the accuracy of any particular statement. In the case of specific problems we recommend that professional advice be sought.