Online Mediation Can Result in Calmer, More Engaged Participants
The closures of courts across the nation in 2020 during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic led to an increase in virtual hearings and meetings, including mediation sessions. While many mediators and attorneys worried the virtual setting could hamper participation, it actually became apparent that online mediation could increase engagement and reduce the potential for tense interactions between divorcing spouses.
How does the online setting differ?
So what is it about the online mediation format that would produce these types of results?
For one, people are able to join the meeting from a place they feel comfortable. Rather than traveling to an unfamiliar office space and sit in a stuffy conference room, they can join from their home office, living room or bedroom. Simply being somewhere familiar and comfortable can make a big difference in people’s mood and their approach to the mediation session.
This also creates a feeling of informality. That’s not to say you shouldn’t dress up, at least a little bit—putting on a professional appearance can still help you to demonstrate you’re taking the mediation seriously. But it’s easier to open up when you’re in your own home. Having that more casual setting can help embolden you to speak up about your opinions during negotiations.
In addition, because spouses are not in each other’s physical presence, the intimidation factor gets minimized. People don’t have to worry as much about one personality dominating the other, or feeling scared to speak their mind, because they’re not sitting directly across a table from a spouse that makes them anxious.
These are just a few examples of some of the primary reasons mediators have seen strong results even in virtual settings during the pandemic, and why the service will continue to be a key offering moving forward. To learn more about virtual mediation, contact an experienced Long Island attorney at Solutions Divorce Mediation.