- Laura L. Van Tassel, Esq.
Advantages Of Virtual Mediation During Covid-19
The coronavirus outbreak and the economic turmoil it has unleashed could not have come at a worse time if you are in the throes of a marital split and trying to plan a new life. The stress of divorcing, in addition to social distancing and “stay at home” guidelines piles on more stress as you face what seems like an uncertain future. It can feel overwhelming as meetings are canceled, courts are closed, and you can’t meet in person when you are confined to your home.
So what can you do?
First, remember: We are all in this together, and it will resolve. Recognize that this is a crisis for everyone. During this stressful time, remember that you and your spouse are both under extreme emotional pressure. Divorce is one of the most stressful situations a person can be in. That’s in the best of times. Cut each other some slack as you both find ways to adapt and cope with this new (temporary) reality.
Secondly, more now than ever, spouses considering divorce should choose a process that reduces stress, rather than increases it; that supports healthy communication, rather than causes divorce wars; and that truly works to protect the best interests of children. At a time when health is the top priority, mediation is the healthiest choice, as divorce mediation allows couples to focus on achieving an optimal outcome while minimizing emotional distress.
Thirdly, with the coronavirus presenting new financial stressors for many spouses, mediation continues to be a far less expensive option to litigation in court, which costs 80%-90% more than mediation and can drag out for many months or even years.
And last but not least, right now, nearly every legal function has transitioned to a virtual format during the COVID-19 pandemic, and mediation is no exception. With the courts in gridlocked and matters taking longer to progress than normal and the potential for further delays even after lockdown restrictions are eased, it may be more practical than ever to consider mediation as an effective means of resolving disputes.
The Advantages Of Virtual Mediation:
Remote mediation may open up new dates that were previously unavailable due to scheduling conflicts.
When you can meet from the comfort of your own home, home office, or garden; thereby enabling you to be in comfortable and familiar surroundings.
Those who prefer a later date for an in-person mediation should recognize there is no guarantee travel and gathering restrictions will be lifted by the parties’ new date. Thus, parties should be realistic and conservative with setting new dates for mediations to avoid the need for multiple reschedulings.
It is possible to switch off the camera and mute the microphone if you need a break or wish to have a completely private conversation with someone in your household
Reduces the costs associated with travel and in-person attendance. There is no need to travel and therefore no need to incur the costs or time spent required to book purpose-built meeting rooms or the cost of travel to the agreed venue.
There is no need to worry about child care, dependants or pet care arrangements
There is no need to worry about access if you have mobility issues
Most people feel a sense of relief, after learning about alternatives to litigation that are healthier, easier, less costly alternative ways to divorce. Visit: vantassellaw.com to learn about the process, get your questions answered or schedule a free online complimentary consultation.