In divorce mediation, a separating couple works with a neutral mediator who assists the two parties to arrive at a settlement on every aspect of their divorce. The mediator may or may not be a lawyer, but he/she must be exceptionally experienced in divorce as well as family law. In addition, it is essential for the mediator to be unbiased and not advocate for either party. Each party still need to consult with their own, individual attorneys during the course of the mediation as well as prior to putting their signature to the ultimate divorce settlement agreement.
Here are a couple of advantages and disadvantages to give consideration to prior to choosing if mediation will work for you.
Husbands and wives frequently hear about the wonders of mediation and how it is apparently a better, less controversial, less costly and more “dignified” way to get a divorce. Nevertheless, my greatest issue with mediation is that the main role and goal of the mediator is to get the parties to arrive at an agreement. Always remember, the mediator can not render any advice. All they can do is attempt to get you to consent. Regrettably, not all agreements are great agreements, and in fact, in numerous cases, no agreement is much better than a bad agreement.
The traditional notions of socializing, conducting business, and expression are changing as we enter the Digital Age, an era characterised by the instant access to information and ideas with just a click of a mouse. As the Internet evolves day-to-day elements of our lives, it comes as no surprise that the Web has penetrated its way into the world of mediation. Skeptics of online mediation have opposed the new forum because of to the inability to communicate face-to-face and the lack of familiarity with the cyber-environment. Nowadays, however, online mediation is no longer seen as an experiment.
Mediation developed as a response to the challenges associated with the judicial process. Litigation costs, court backlog, and the inherent adversarial system associated with court action proceedings rendered mediation as an appealing forum for disputants.
As parties enter the cyber-office for online mediation, there are many benefits relating to its pragmatism and expediency. For instance, the parties do not need to synchronize their schedules and retreat from their daily lives and travel to physical site to convene. Each party may enter the world of mediation at his or her convenience from the convenience of the home with taps on a keyboard. Moreover, the challenges associated with the choice of jurisdiction may have made conflict resolution completely unfeasible without an online forum. Consequently, in many situations, mediation may be the sole medium to fill the void for disputants separated in distance.
The casual and convenient nature of mediation is illustrated further with online mediation. Online mediation is not restricted by borders, facilitating a dialogue for people who are physically separated due to geography. Furthermore, the parties may use the process from the comfort of their own homes. Problems relating to the choice of a particular mediator can be more easily resolved. The mediator is no longer restricted to disputes in his/her geographical.
Online mediation is a suitable alternative to conventional mediation for divorce disputes. Issues that pertain to divorce, especially if a custody battle is involved, are intensified with high amplitudes of emotion and miscommunication. An online forum is much less confrontational than a face-to-face mediation, a beneficial element for family disputes.
There is no question that remote mediations are convenient. The mediation is facilitated from the comfort and ease of your own home, permitting wider flexibility of schedules and accessibility to your professional. No more combating traffic for an hour each way for that two hour session at the mediator’s office.
Online mediation platforms can easily allow for face to face virtual contact, whilst also permitting the mediator to share their screen when working with maintenance calculations, preparing draft provisions, and detailing issues and proposals on a virtual “white board”.
By holding mediations virtually, parties and mediators likewise are in a position to save money on travel expenses such as petrol, parking, flights, and accommodations. Usually, the further each individual is from each other, the higher the savings achieved from holding mediations virtually. Furthermore, mediators and participants likewise are able to save time by meeting remotely.
Bertus Preller studied at the universities of the Free State and Johannesburg. Bertus is an experienced mediator and arbitrator. He is the author of Everyone's Guide To Divorce and Separation, published by Random House (2013) and he writes regularly on news24.com. He is also the founder of Divorcelaws, South Africa's premier website on Family Law.