Common Questions About Family Law Mediation During COVID-19
As the coronavirus pandemic drags on, our Long Island community continues to show its resilience and adaptability in dealing with varied and complex situations. Family conflict is one problem that always needs solving and mediation is a proven solution. However, at a time of social distancing, mediation must be administered in creative, innovative ways. Understandably, many couples contemplating divorce have a lot of questions about whether mediation is still a viable choice.
Some of the questions are about technology. What videoconferencing tools are available? Should you be worried about online security issues with Zoom, Skype or any similar platform? What if you don’t have reliable Wi-Fi available? Our team takes the time to make sure every mediation participant has access to the right technology. We often hold pre-mediation calls with spouses and their attorneys, which provide an opportunity to test communication capabilities and make sure everything is working.
Privacy questions are next on the list. Before the coronavirus struck, a party in a mediation could always leave the room if something private needed to be discussed. Thankfully, online tools like Zoom allow us as mediators to create multiple “rooms,” we can toggle back and forth — talking to the husband one minute, then switching to talk to the wife, conferencing in their attorneys, or bringing everyone into the same “room.” The rooms can also be password protected to ensure privacy.
The next set of questions concerns documents. How do you sign necessary papers? What if you need your attorney to review a document? Again, technology provides solutions. E-signing programs, such as Clio and DocuSign, are used across many industries, including banking, mortgages and other security-conscious fields, and they work equally well in mediation. And as far as having attorneys review documents, that can be done by transmitting them ahead of time or during a mediation session using virtual private “rooms.”
Finally, what about cost? What if you are not working due to a COVID-19 layoff, for example? This is a difficult economic time, and if you aren’t working, divorce may seem financially impossible. But the good news is that mediation is typically far less expensive than going to court.
If you feel you need to move on from your marriage during the pandemic, Solutions Divorce Mediation, Inc. is here to help. We have had a great deal of experience with holding virtual mediations over the last few months and our professionals would be happy to speak with you and answer all of your questions about how it works. Please call 1.631.683.8172 or contact us online for a free initial consultation. We serve clients in Suffolk County, Nassau County and throughout Long Island.