Remote Mediation, the cost-effective alternative: A guest blog by Marcia Lister

Mediation has a range of benefits for divorcing couples. It can be faster than going through the courts, it prioritises positive outcomes rather than applying strict legal rules, and it can drastically reduce the total cost.

It achieves this significant cost reduction in several ways:

  • Less court fees and legal costs to pay.
  • More amicable negotiations over division of finances and assets.
  • Faster resolution overall avoids expensive delays and ongoing disputes.

At Marcia Mediation we have seen these benefits time and time again, all while achieving lower stress levels and a greater degree of dignity in divorce proceedings.

But in the first half of 2020, circumstances meant we conducted even more of our consultations via remote mediation sessions, something we have offered for years and were able to increase our use of during lockdown.

Remote mediation during COVID-19

The novel Coronavirus outbreak at the start of the year led to restrictions on movement and social distancing, which in turn meant that we increased our use of remote mediation sessions.

Remote mediation can take several forms. Often the involved parties connect via webcam using standard software like Skype or Zoom. In some cases, we also conduct remote mediation by telephone.

Since the COVID-19 lockdown, we have seen very positive feedback from our clients, with many telling us they want to continue using remote mediation even as the restrictions on meeting face-to-face continue to ease.

We have been able to combine remote mediation with other methods such as shuttle mediation. This is where the mediator moves between both clients as they do not want to see or hear each other.

How remote mediation cuts divorce costs

Remote mediation offers the cost benefits of mediation already mentioned above, but it goes beyond that to save even more:

  • Better efficiency via videoconferencing reduces consultation times.•
  • Faster shuttle mediation as the mediator is moving between clients online rather than physically
  • Greater flexibility to fit sessions around work and home life.
  • Clients no longer have to see each other in the waiting room which often heightens stress levels

By using remote mediation, clients can save on time and money that would otherwise be spent travelling to and from in-person mediation sessions, and fit consultations into their schedule more easily.

Best foot forward

At Marcia Mediation we believe in finding the positives in scenarios like divorce, where an amicable outcome can make future co-parenting and socialising with mutual friends much more pleasant.

The events of 2020 have created an even greater need to find positive, optimistic ways to proceed with the necessary parts of daily life, and remote mediation has proved to be an excellent way to do just that.

As we move into the future, we expect to see more and more Marcia Mediation clients benefit from the flexibility, convenience and cost-efficiency of this thoroughly modern method of mediation.

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