Why would we need to conduct family mediation by Skype?
I don’t think anyone would argue with the assertion that in any mediation, by far the best way of doing things is to have the parties to that family mediation physically present in the room. However, that is not always possible for a variety of very good reasons. Sometimes, those reasons revolve around the family mediator’s ability to provide a safe space for the participants to work in, or there is a history of very poor and aggressive behaviour from one or both participants. On other occasions, the reasons for not being able to conduct family mediation face-to-face are of a more practical nature. They involve distance.
When people think of family mediation, they picture three people in a room identifying issues and working their way though them until they have come to a sensible and practical set of proposals that the two participants can agree to (remember, the mediator does not decide on the outcome of family mediation – that is for the participants to decide). This is generally accepted as the best way of conducting family mediation as it allows people to interact fully and to explore the options together. It brings a sense of common purpose and of course it allows non-verbal communication to be a part of the process.
However, if getting together in this way is not possible, our options become more limited. Although communicating in family mediation using Skype or some other form of video conferencing is seen as a less than ideal way of proceeding, if the alternative is not to be able to mediate at all, then the advantages of family mediation – its inclusiveness, its speed, its value-for-money and its fairness – are lost. The options are then protracted correspondence – either in person or through solicitors – or asking the Court to make a decision.
Rather than lose those advantages, Hampshire Mediation offers appointments by Skype when the needs of the case so dictate. We can conduct the MIAM for either or both parties by Skype, and we can offer joint meetings by Skype, either as a three-way conversation, or as a series of two-way conversations. The process and procedures are exactly the same, and the mediator will discuss with the participants how the family mediation is to be conducted using Skype or another application. The ground rules are the same – it is a confidential and legally privileged conversation in which two volunteers come together with the help of a neutral third party to resolve whatever the issues are that need to be addressed. Only the three of us are present, and no recordings may be made. Experience has shown that conducting family mediation by Skype, although it takes a bit longer to arrange, still delivers sensible, practical and equitable solutions to issues, and does so quickly, economically and with the minimum of conflict.
Contact us here today to discuss your needs.