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How should I prepare for an online remote family mediation?

20/01/2021

Although online remote family mediations are not significantly different from those held at a physical location, there are still a number of factors to consider as you prepare to mediate online.

As with more traditional family mediations, it is wise to be well-prepared for your online mediation session in order to ensure that you and your former partner get the most out of the meeting and have the best possible chance of a positive outcome.

Why it makes sense to be as prepared as possible for family mediation

It is likely that you have chosen to mediate in an effort to avoid the need for court proceedings. In the event that mediation does not take place or is unsuccessful and issues therefore remain unresolved, matters are likely to result in the issue of court proceedings.  Inevitably the issue of proceedings are likely to cause additional stress, time and costs.

With that in mind, it is advisable that prior to entering into the mediation process, you spend some time considering the desired outcome and what might be the best pathway to achieving it. This is something that you can discuss in confidence with your mediator at your initial individual meeting (otherwise known as a Mediation Information Asseseement Meeting or MIAM). Your mediator will also be able to answer any queries you may have in respect of the process in an effort to alleviate any concerns prior to the first joint mediation session.

It is not uncommon for those embarking on the mediation process to feel a certain degree of anxiety, so having all information to hand will help.

How to stay calm leading up to and during family mediation

We may appear to be stating the obvious, but ensuring that you are well-rested, calm, focused and in a positive mindset in the lead-up to your mediation meeting will help the process run smoothly.

Prepare any important documents beforehand

If there are documents or other reference material which will form a critical part of the discussion, it is advisable that you have them organised and prepared at least 48 hours in advance – misplaced paperwork in the leadup to your mediation could negatively impact your mental state and the outcome of the mediation.

Remove any potential distractions from the room

One major advantage of online remote family mediation is that the logistics of attending an office or other location are eliminated. In preparation for your online remote family mediation session you should find yourself a quiet spot where you can fully focus on the meeting. If you can, it is also advisable to remove any other possible distractions, such as pets and phones.

Get comfortable

Another great advantage of online remote family mediation is the additional comfort that is possible when attending a meeting from your own home or other familiar space.  Provided you have access to the internet, you can join a remote mediation session from anywhere around the world and so, for example, if you are travelling for work or other purposes, you will not have to wait until your return to the UK to embark in the mediation process.

The single-most important thing to remember in preparation for family mediation

The single-most important factor to any successful mediation is collaboration. Whilst preparing for your mediation meeting, do your best to arrive on the day with a positive and collaborative mindset. Although this can be difficult, especially where there may have been conflict in the past, participating in your mediation with a focus on an amicable resolution is key.

Understand that both you and your former partner will have an equal opportunity to voice your opinion and standpoint. The onus is on all participants to listen, empathise and, where possible and with the assistance of your mediator, find common ground.

Remember that one of the core benefits of mediation is that, even where there has been prior conflict and disagreement, your mediator will use their best endeavors to explore with each of you what may have prevented any prior agreement.  Your mediator will assist you both and will facilitate discussions to ensure that you understand properly the views and opinions of the other. The mediation process belongs to you and all decisions will be made by you both together rather than the court reaching a decision that neither may be satisfied with but by which you are bound.

Video Transcription

You would have already spoken with your mediator about the arrangements for a mediation session. And prior to the mediation session, you would have already received a link so that you can join that mediation meeting.

In respect to the preparation for the meeting itself, the mediator would have gone through with you at your initial assessment meeting, the types of issues that can be addressed during a mediation session and what might be discussed. Now, the mediation process is your process. And so, it is for you to set an agenda for that meeting and raise the issues that you feel need to be resolved as a result of your separation.

So with regards to preparation for that meeting all you need to be doing is thinking about what’s important to you, what you would want to discuss. And if there’s any documentation that’s required prior to that mediation session to enable that to be more productive, then the mediator would have already discussed that with you. And it would have already been dealt with.

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To speak to one of our family mediator or to arrange an initial mediation consultation, please contact Michelle Bettell or a member of our family team on 01202 983999. Alternatively, you can enquire using the form below.

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