In the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, we must continue to adapt and find ways to solve problems without endangering public health and safety. Family conflict is one example of a problem that will always need solving, and mediation is often an effective solution. In-person gatherings are discouraged, meaning mediation must now be delivered in innovative ways. Many digital tools and methods are available to make virtual meetings and mediation successful.
A Pre-Mediation Call Is a Wise Choice
It’s a good idea to have a pre-mediation call with your attorney. This allows you to get comfortable using your computer’s camera and talking to your lawyer through a platform like Zoom, Skype or Google Hangouts. It also gives you a chance to do a test run of your Wi-Fi, camera and other tools.
You might also request a pre-mediation call with the mediator. This helps you get to know the mediator, and it allows them to establish a rapport with you. Your pre-mediation call is an opportunity to ask questions, find out about the mediator’s background, and just have a normal, human conversation with the person who will help you resolve your family conflict.
Private conversations between you and your lawyer are the foundation of the attorney-client relationship. You need to be able to have these conversations with your attorney, even in a virtual environment.
You can use your pre-mediation call to speak with your lawyer and understand what you should do if, for example, you want to speak to your lawyer in private while in the middle of a mediation session. Ironing out these details beforehand can make the mediation sessions smoother.
Treat It Like a Meeting
Staying professional is one of the biggest challenges most people have while working from home. Distractions abound such as TV, kids and pets. These issues can affect virtual mediation as well. Eliminate distractions as much as possible by putting your phone on mute so it doesn’t ring in the middle of your session or asking a babysitter to watch the kids for an hour or two.
Share Documents in Advance
In a normal office setting, it’s easy to share print documents in the middle of a session. In the virtual world, that’s not a possibility. If you have material you want to share, be sure to do it ahead of time. Email it to your lawyer so they can distribute it to everyone else. If there are confidential papers you only want the mediator to see, a separate procedure should be arranged.
We Have Three Family Law Mediators Available
Albin Oldner Law, PLLC, has three trained family law mediators on staff. If you’re not quite ready and would simply like to discuss your family conflict with an attorney, you can call us at (214) 423-5100 or send us a message.