Can Family Mediation take place via video call?

 

The situation at present is very uncertain and as a result of this many people have questions as to how family mediation can proceed. The traditional way to conduct mediation is on a ‘round table’ basis, face to face. Given the recent Government guidance this cannot continue for at least 3 weeks.

During this time, many families still face uncertainties in respect of childcare issues and their finances and mediating face to face is difficult given the current government guidelines. The Family Mediation Council have issued guidance and it is possible to conduct Mediation Information Assessment Meetings and joint sessions via video call.

It is also inevitable that separated parents will have difficulties communicating in regard to childcare whilst the children are no longer in school. If this is the case, mediation may assist in resolving any conflict and agreeing on a clear plan. It is a good idea with the current situation to be proactive rather than reactive and discuss how the current lockdown situation will affect a parent’s ability to continue to co-parent and spend time with the children.

Some separated parties who have not agreed financial matters, may need to discuss how the current situation will affect them financially. If one party is unable to work, it is going to have a considerable effect on their income and it may be that parties need to apply for a mortgage break to assist them during this difficult period. In mediation we can discuss financial matters in the short term as well as long term.

At Consilia Mediation we have considered many options to be able to continue to assist you whilst maintaining the same quality service. We can offer mediation remotely by using one of the following online platforms: –

  • Zoom;
  • Skype;
  • Messenger;
  • Facetime;

If you would like to make an appointment, we can discuss your options with you directly and how this will work logistically.

 

How will mediation work remotely?

To ensure your mediation session runs smoothly, we have considered the following ways to make the whole process easier for you: –

  • The mediation client care packages will be sent to you via email;
  • Arranging appointment can take place as usually via telephone or email;
  • In the case of a financial mediation session, financial disclosure can be provided via email or post. An open financial statement can be drafted and sent to both parties to use in the mediation session. Through apps like Zoom, it is possible to also share documents when the video call is taking place;
  • The joint session will proceed in the usual manner i.e. a 3-way conversation, albeit through video conferencing;
  • In instances where shuttle mediation is appropriate, it is possible to video call each party separately and ensure that you are both available throughout the duration of the session; and
  • After each session, a record session will be produced to document what is discussed in the session and any tasks that need to be carried out or any interim proposals.

 

In the event that after your initial assessment meeting either party does not wish to engage in the mediation process, or the mediator deems mediation as unsuitable we can send you a signed form via email to state that you have attended a MIAM and this can be used to issue Court proceedings if you feel it necessary.

For more information on how mediation works remotely or to arrange an appointment, please contact Consilia Legal on 0113 322 9222 or at enquiries@consilialegal.co.uk.

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