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Posted 04-18-2020 1:13:19 PM
How Divorce and Family Law Mediation can Bring Peace
 

A family is considered as the basic unit of society, and marriage or having children is of the most important relationships throughout history. Marriage holds a very sacred concept.  Similarly, having children is a often a hope and plan throughout one’s life.  However, if marriage as a unit breaks down or family disputes arise, then mediation might be the best option. This is why family laws and courts encourage family and matrimonial disputes attempt reconciliation or settlement by reaching an amicable agreement instead of litigating in courts. When people find themselves in disputes, their option has traditionally been to work it out among themselves or to resort to litigating their differences in court. However, another way to address the conflict within a family or a couple would be to consider ‘family law mediation’.

Mediation is a part of conflict management to help couples come to a peaceful solution. The emerging concept of mediation is rising rapidly. Mediation is a process which assists separating and divorcing couples to resolve their disputes and negotiate their own agreed decisions in a dignified and fair way, taking account of the needs of all involved, including, especially, when there are children involved. The matters to be resolved in family law mediation can include financial and property issues and future arrangements for children (more on these concepts below). Not only do parties to a lawsuit benefit from mediation, typically so do their children as a result of less animosity and discord.

Mediation is a great strategy if participants are open to settlement and well prepared. Mediators should encourage participants to consider vital points during the session. The mediator needs to be prepared before the mediation and so too do the participants. An important element to a successful outcome for mediation is for the participants to know what they would be happy to walk away from the mediation with.  To do this, they should be aware of their hypothetical “best day” and “worst day” in court, so that they know where their settlement lies in terms of “fairness.”

Principles of Mediation

  • Mediation is a Self-Deciding process – A mediator recognizes that the mediation process is based on the principle of self-determination by the parties.  That means that the parties are the ones in control of their decisions, and should decide their family law issues freely but having sufficient information to make those decisions.
  • Mediators act impartially – A mediator should impartially conduct the mediation.  They are a neutral, third party and do not represent either side in the mediation.
  • Mediation is confidential – A mediator should maintain the reasonable expectations of the parties about confidentiality.  The confidentiality aspect of mediation is critical and ensures that both sides can “open up” and tell the truth.
  • Competence – A mediator should mediate only when the mediator has the necessary qualifications to satisfy the reasonable expectations of the parties.  For instance, if it is family law mediation, the mediator should be skilled and experienced in dealing with the issues in your case, whether alimony, child support, timesharing (visitation or child custody), divorce, paternity and the like.
  • Final decision making authority rests with the participants – A mediator shall conduct the mediation fairly, diligently, and in a manner consistent with the principle of self-determination by the parties.

When ‘Mediation’ is not suitable –

  • Where one or both parties do not cooperate with full financial disclosure
  • Whenever parties are not committed to the mediation process
  • When one party loses faith in the mediator’s impartially

Is Mediation Stressful?

  • Having the freedom to discuss matters in a confidential setting is far less stressful than taking the conflict into a courtroom.
  • A mediator with psychological training can particularly help parties manage their emotions and deal with negotiations effectively.
  • Each party can negotiate what is best for them and gain peace of mind in the long run.

Online Dispute Resolution: The new era of Justice!

  • The new era of technology will extend to impact the future of justice: family life and mediation.
  • The family mediator’s awareness of the possible positive and inflammatory influences of the internet may be instrumental in effectively identifying and resolving the modern family’s disputes.
  • Social media, cyber abuse, the child’s computer voice, the use of a forensic computer expert and the futuristic divorce are factors to be considered in the practice of family law mediation.
  • Online Mediation should possibly include a discussion with the help of the internet, computer and smart-phone usage.

Remote Mediation makes Dispute Resolution more accessible –

When you are looking to hire a mediator to help you resolve a dispute that you are having with an individual or a company, but for various reasons, meeting face-to-face would be difficult. That’s where online mediation or remote mediation comes in. The concept of remote mediation is often as contextual as the conflict it attempts to resolve. Mediation is often thought of as the last step to adjudicate disputes.  In reality, it should be one of the first steps, before legal fees mount, stress builds and conflict increases between the parties. Mediation is a negotiation between two or more parties facilitated by an agreed-upon a neutral party. The neutral party mediator can lower the emotional feelings in a negotiation, bring about more effective communication, and provide solutions that the parties might have overlooked. But what if you and the other party are located in a different geographic area, or do not feel comfortable meeting in person during the COVID-19 Pandemic?  Or what if your dispute originated across local or state borders? At VideoSettle.com we provide a virtual mediators who have the ability to facilitate remote mediation online. With a problem-solving approach, we offer high-level virtual mediation to resolve long-distance conflicts, with a wide range of disputes able to be mediated through remote mediation.

Recommended Online Mediation Ethical Standards

Online communication – not only for mediators and participants but also for their children – creates new ethical and practice issues for the mediator and parties. For example, should a mediator be encouraged to explore each participant? Should a mediator seek to define with participants how they would like to best communicate online, both during the mediation and, perhaps, before or following the mediation?

As part of a mediation process – whether the mediation is face-to-face  or online (or a mixture of the two), mediators should discuss and seek best means of communicating during the mediation with all participants.

In addition to meeting face-to-face, mediators and participants may communicate via online video, as part of virtual mediation platforms, by email, attachments, text message, phone and other means. Mediators and participants are encouraged to utilize a range of communicative options in support of their mediation. It is understood that the confidentiality of mediation communications shall not be lessened nor determined by a selected communication. To the extent that participants jointly prefer communicating in certain ways during mediation, those preferences should generally be honored by the mediator. To the extent that participants have different preferences for how to communicate during mediation, the mediator shall seek to best satisfy those interests in an overall balanced way.

As part of a mediation process whether the mediation face-to-face, or online, or a mixture of the two, mediators are encouraged to raise issues of how participants (particularly parents) can best communicate with each other and their children, both now and in the future.

Online Family Law Mediation: The Futuristic Approach

The mediation process has become an effective team approach to settlement. The core members of the team include the mediator and the family members (and their lawyers, if they have retained any). Thereafter, mental health experts, divorce experts, accountants/financial professionals, and/or vocational experts can be added as needed to help address psychological, tax, retirement and employment concerns. The forensic computer engineers may be the newest member of the team. Computer forensics is a branch of digital forensic science concerning documentation found in computers, digital storage media, or cloud-based storage machines. The determination involves similar techniques and principles to data recovery, but with additional guidelines and practices designed to create an audit trail. A computer forensic technocrats preserves, identifies, extracts, documents, and interprets computer data.  All of these professionals can be used before, during or after your online family law mediation.

Protection of computer files concerning finances is essential in divorce mediation. During safeguarding, data identified as potentially relevant should be agreed upon in mediation not to be deleted or destroyed.  This could be deemed spoliation of evidence and you could be sanctioned.  Once documents have been stored, the collection is the transfer of data from a person or business to a client, or lawyer or their forensic computer expert. In mediation, you can address what computer files are relevant to the mediation and should be shared and which files can remain private as personal to a spouse.  These are often known as discovery disputes and can also be used for things like financial documents, business records, etc. If a computer is considered a “Personal” computer, it may be considered private by law; if it is a family or shared computer, it may not be private. The rationale is that a family or shared computer is similar to a shared filing cabinet. With in-person or online family law mediation, there typically must be transparency and full disclosure concerning finances. But, you have to obtain it through the proper channels; if financial data was inappropriately obtained by computer hacking, the financial information – while it may still be relevant to the mediation – typically cannot be used and you could be subject to sanctions or even criminal charges.  The action of one spouse violating a spouse’s or separated spouse’s privacy may need to be addressed in the mediation as well.

Mediated agreements concerning assisted reproductive technology, surrogacy and frozen embryos are now common.  Family disputes over pets or animals have emerged.  Online family law mediation is now a reality.

What more does the future hold?  Could will machines or robots be next? Will information from the family computer be useful in family mediation? Will mediators and participants in mediation be able to share financial records and information with a “blink of an eye” due to the internet and computer files appearing on contact lenses? We already have virtual glasses and 3D glasses for virtual experiences. Hardware and external accessories may become like the dinosaurs. With electronic chips implanted in our walls, streets, and medicine cabinets, voice-activated information and images could appear anywhere. Electronic gadgets are on the market, which provides access to the internet, digital information, and monitor health in devices, clothes, and wristbands. Driverless cars and electromagnetic transportation may change the way parents spend time with their children. With all these rapid generations of technology, will the nature of marriage and relationships change personal bonding issues and the development of intimacy by an increasingly virtual connection? Due to medical advances, transgender children will have more options for surgery, and treatments. More decisions will need to be made by families with transgender youth that family mediators can address. Will mental illness and special needs children lessen due to advanced genetic screening, neuroscience and use of stem cells and gene therapy? Will parents desire to make decisions whether to utilize genetic and robotic enhancements to their children, which will increase intelligence, talent or physical ability? Should family mediators be prepared to address such concerns? Currently, one is sometimes permitted to appear for a mediation conference by video conferencing. Perhaps in the future, holographic images of us will be present. One thing is certain, science and technological advances will continue to impact family life and mediation. The issues in family disputes that mediator will be asked to assist in resolving will continually change due to scientific advances and options in the twenty-first and twenty-second century.

CONCLUSION

In-person or online mediation is a negotiation process. Parties who go through mediation participate directly and with free consent to this process. Resolving the disputes through a mechanism which is under the supervision of a mediator is called mediation. Mediation aims to provide a fair, neutral, speedy decision or conclusion by the parties. Mediation can be done for any matter. Through mediation, the burden of the court becomes less and the parties can confidently make their point clear to each other. Mediation is a non-judicial and informal process that should be considered by all litigants, particularly divorcing couples.    In the mediation process, the divorce can lead to a mutual resolution with the consent of both the spouses. Therefore, in-person or online family law mediation is a “must consider” for all divorcing couples a way to resolve their issues without the need to go to court.

Mediation is a situation where you will have a neutral family law mediator, who doesn’t take a side but who is skilled enough to know what the issues are and help you come up with creative solutions or suggestions. Family law mediation is a completely confidential process and you typically cannot disclose anything from mediation to the court. Online Family law mediation should be done in good faith with honesty and disclosure, so that everything is on the table.

The online Mediator provides parties (Husband and Wife, Mother and Father, or Plaintiff and Defendant) with a chance to settle their case quickly and without the cost of litigation. The online Family law mediator provides an opportunity to avoid the pains and pitfalls associated with going to court. With online family law mediation you, get a chance to meet with a neutral mediator who can help you to negotiate a partial settlement or complete agreement. Working with an online family law mediator is like an extra perk for you learn the strengths and weaknesses of course case and it’s important legal concepts. Online Family law mediation with remote, virtual divorce and family law mediators allow you to take joint sessions and break out sessions accordingly, so that you can remain completely separate from the opposing side if you wish, from the comfort of your own home, office or the like. Discover a new approach of ‘ Online Family Law Mediation’ and learn how to engage the remote virtual divorce and family mediator to reach a peaceful resolution at VideoSettle.com.


 
  
 
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