27th Aug 2014

Online mediation

The development and provision of online mediation is gaining pace with some providers holding mediation services using Skype, Google Hangouts or other specially designed software packages.

Dominic Raeside, family mediator with London divorce solicitors Family Law in Partnership explains that he has carried out several online mediations in recent years;

“It provides an alternative where people are working overseas but the family remains based here in England,” he says.  “It is still important though, whenever possible, to have the first joint session with everybody sat in the same room together.  Doing so can help to establish the dynamics and rapport required within the mediation process.  Once the foundations have been laid in this way then the later sessions can run quite smoothly online.”

“It would still be my preference to deal with all sessions with everybody present together.  Everybody gets a fuller understanding of each other and how they are each responding.”

Some people feel that social media, online messaging and devices in fact challenges communications within families, perhaps even contributing to the end of a marriage.

Communication is key to any relationship and vital in a marriage. As expert divorce lawyers and mediators we often hear couples say “We don’t talk anymore”.

Are you losing the ability to talk to each other?

The Government is spending considerable time and money encouraging couples to use mediation to settle family disputes. But if couples lose the habit of talking to each other even in happier days, how are they going to do so during a time of emotional upheaval?

Life can be stressful and often the more stressful it becomes, the more individuals retreat into their own worlds. They may communicate with their partner using email, text, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook – but do they actually speak to each other face to face or listen?

It’s becoming increasingly popular to leave behind all electronic devices when going away for the weekend or to seek out destinations that do not have mobile or wifi services. This can be an uncomfortable experience for some at first, but those who have experienced it talk of being able to communicate better with the people they have travelled with.

For these people who are inseparable from their devices, especially where electronic communication is a necessity by virtue of them working overseas, online mediation can provide a good way forward.

Maybe you feel that you need to re-learn the art of face to face communication before you lose it completely. It could certainly help with mediation and may well save some relationships.  If you think that this is an issue for you and your family then you might want to work with a family consultant such as Ruth Smallacombe, also at Family Law in Partnership and working as part of their team of expert divorce lawyers and mediators.

Please call us on 020 7420 5000 or email us at hello@flip.co.uk if you think we might be able to help you with your mediation, online mediation or communication issues within your family.