Virtual Divorce Mediation: Convenient, Efficient & Confidential

  • Adaptability and Resilience: The pandemic forced many industries, including the legal field, to adapt quickly to remote work and virtual solutions. Virtual divorce mediation emerged as a viable alternative to in-person sessions, demonstrating the resilience and adaptability of the mediation process.

  • Technology as a Tool: The pandemic highlighted the significance of technology in facilitating virtual communication and collaboration. Video conferencing platforms, document-sharing tools, and other digital solutions became essential for conducting virtual divorce mediation effectively.

virtual divorce mediation online
  • Increased Acceptance and Adoption: The pandemic accelerated the acceptance and adoption of virtual mediation. As lockdowns and social distancing measures limited physical interactions, individuals and professionals become more open to online platforms for resolving disputes, including divorce mediation.

  • Accessibility and Reach: Virtual mediation broke down geographical barriers and enhanced accessibility to mediation services. Individuals from different locations could easily connect with mediators and engage in the process, enabling a broader reach and more inclusive participation.
  • Efficient and Time-Saving: Virtual mediation proved efficient and time-saving for all parties involved. It eliminated the need for travel time, reducing scheduling conflicts and enabling more flexible sessions. Participants could engage in mediation from their own spaces, leading to increased productivity and convenience.

  • Preservation of Privacy and Confidentiality: Online platforms implemented robust security measures to protect privacy and confidentiality during virtual mediation sessions. This ensured that sensitive information and discussions remained secure, maintaining the trust and confidence of the participants.

  • Effective Communication and Engagement: Despite the physical distance, virtual mediation facilitated effective communication and engagement. Participants could still express their concerns, emotions, and perspectives, while mediators could employ various tools to enhance understanding and facilitate productive dialogue.

  • Learning from Challenges: The pandemic also highlighted particular challenges of virtual mediation, such as technical issues, internet connectivity problems, and potential limitations in non-verbal communication cues. These challenges provided an opportunity for mediators and participants to learn, adapt, and find creative solutions to ensure a smooth virtual mediation process.

  • Hybrid Approaches: The experience gained during the pandemic encouraged the exploration of hybrid approaches to divorce mediation, combining virtual and in-person elements. This approach allows for flexibility, tailoring the mediation process to the specific needs and preferences of the parties involved.

Other benefits of virtual mediation include:

  • Convenience and Flexibility: Virtual mediation offers clients unparalleled convenience and flexibility. With online sessions, clients can participate from the comfort of their own homes or offices, eliminating the need for travel and saving precious time. The flexibility of scheduling allows participants to choose time slots that best suit their needs, reducing scheduling conflicts and facilitating a smoother mediation process.

  • Cost Savings: Traditional in-person mediation often comes with significant expenses such as transportation, accommodation, and meals. Virtual mediation eliminates these costs, providing clients with a more affordable alternative. This cost savings can be particularly beneficial during divorce proceedings when financial resources may already be strained.

  • Accessibility: Virtual mediation breaks down geographical barriers, making it accessible to clients regardless of their location. Individuals who live in remote areas or have limited mobility can now access mediation services without the need for extensive travel. This enhanced accessibility ensures that everyone has an equal opportunity to engage in the mediation process and work towards a mutually beneficial resolution.

  • Enhanced Privacy and Confidentiality: Privacy and confidentiality are critical aspects of any mediation process. Virtual mediation platforms offer robust security measures to protect the confidentiality of discussions and sensitive information. Clients can participate in sessions from the privacy of their own space, ensuring a confidential environment for open and honest communication.

  • Emotional Comfort: Separation and Divorce disputes can be emotionally challenging for clients. Virtual mediation allows clients to engage in the process within a familiar and supportive environment. Being in their own space can help ease some of the stress and anxiety associated with face-to-face meetings, enabling clients to express themselves more comfortable.

  • Effective Communication: Virtual mediation platforms provide various tools to facilitate effective communication between parties. Features such as videoconferencing, screen sharing, and document collaboration enable clear and efficient communication. Clients can easily share documents, present their perspectives, and engage in productive discussions, leading to a more effective mediation process.

  • Neutrality of the Mediator: Virtual mediation helps maintain mediator neutrality. Without physical proximity or body language distractions, mediators can focus solely on the content of the discussions. This ensures a fair and impartial facilitation of the mediation process, allowing clients to work towards mutually acceptable solutions.


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Online Mediation Techniques: A Case Study

Online Mediation Techniques
  • Agree to the mediator’s stipulations about where you can be located to take part in online mediation. For example, your mediator is likely to insist on the mediation taking place:

    • In a private place
    • Using a private, not public, internet connection
    • In a static location—ie. not while driving
    • In a room with no one else in or listening in
    • With no recording devices present
    • With no texting, emailing, or online chatting with each other or third parties
    • With total focus on the video conference and no distractions on screen
    • With both spouses staying visible in the screen frame at all times, eyes focused on the camera, with head and shoulders visible unless excused by the mediator.
    • With no talking while someone else is talking is allowed – parties need to be aware that if mouths move while on mute, lip reading can misinterpret what’s being said. For example, the mouth movements required to say ‘forward’ are similar to those required to say ‘f*** you’.
    • No background noises in the room (such as a TV or radio) during the video conference call
    • No sudden movements or hand gestures.
  • Try to relax and not perform too many wild gestures or movements with your hands and body, as it’s difficult for the mediator to hear or see you

  • Do not shout or scream, as your voice will distort and all the other people on the video conference will hear is blurbs of noise

  • Be sure you are conducting the online mediation from a location that has a strong internet connection

  • Also be sure to check the weather conditions in the area ahead of the session, as any storms can adversely affect the quality of the video conference sound and pictures.

  • Be prepared to be muted by the mediator until it’s your turn to speak. Your mediator will ensure you and your spouse both have equal opportunity to state your side of the story. Use the Raise Your Hand function if it’s available.

  • Do not bring smart phones or other devices into the mediation sessions. They can be a distraction, and the discussion needs to be between the two spouses, with no outside influences.

  • Both spouses should be focused on the video screen at all times. If eyes are wandering away to other things in the room, it shows lack of focus and disrespect, both of which will reduce the effectiveness of online mediation techniques.