CONVERSATIONS in ONLINE MEDIATION Georgia Daniels, J.D., Mediator
Each Family Is Different
For Online Mediation, each family is different. Each party brings different gifts to a marriage or family relationship. If you are divorcing, you will be unique in what you hope for as you move toward a separate life. For elder/adult family mediations, your goal may be restoration of family harmony. I work differently with each family, according to your stated needs and the issues that must be resolved. Over the past 20 years, I have learned (and I keep learning) techniques and processes to improve your experience with online divorce mediation and family mediation online.
Choosing Mutual Respect
I believe that what we say matters. What we do matters. How we treat each other matters. Respect is the cornerstone of this process: respect for yourself and respect for the processes we will follow together. I hope that you will join me in choosing to respect our common humanity, even when it is not easy.
Joint Sessions and Individual Sessions
For divorce mediation, most sessions are joint sessions. However, it is immensely helpful to have individual sessions with each spouse at or near the beginning. This is a time to learn more about your individual perspectives, your values, and your hopes. Toward the end of the mediation process, individual sessions will confirm that we are really done and that your agreement is truly complete.
For online family mediation with two or more participants, the processes are similar. The goals may be different: restoring family harmony, or resolving a specific family issue.
The Conversational Dance
Sometimes, potential clients ask me to describe the process that I would use for a specific issue. Since each family is different, the sessions build on each other. There is no one-size-fits-all process. Our work together will inform my preparations for each conversation as we discuss a specific issue for your online mediation.
Our usual process will be to set an agenda before each mediation session. Frequently, I offer questions to start the conversation for an agenda item. Sometimes we might depart from that agenda to address an urgent situation, before returning to the agenda. The conversational dance continues, with improvisations and maybe even graceful turns. For the tough stuff, we might need to plod through it, one step, another step, one step, another step, until we can return to the dance of mediation. I’d love to say that online mediation is always easy, but it’s not. It is, however, absolutely possible to get through the tough stuff and reach the joint goals that you set for your mediation.