Mediation in the Time of COVID-19
The world around us feels like it’s changing so quickly. For the moment, people may be pausing in their plans to separate but soon they’ll want to move forward. Some may just need support in “living through” the period of isolation, asking questions like How do we live together? How do we pass our children between us? What are the new rules? For others, there may be more long-term concerns like, when can we get our divorce? With the state court shut down, it may seem as if you need to put your life on hold.
However, while at this writing we don’t yet know when the courts will reopen, it is still possible to answer these questions for your family. Attorney Davis is actively mediating with couples using video conferencing, to help them answer for themselves these and many other questions. While uncertainty seems to be all around us, there are many things couples can do to create certainty in their own lives.
So what can you expect from video-conferencing? Certainly, you can expect from Attorney Davis a high level of service, compassion, and skill in assisting you to discuss and create plans for your family. We are using Zoom conferencing to create our meetings. Video-conferencing allows us all to “be in the room together” when we use the Gallery view of a Zoom conference – Attorney Davis is in her familiar office and you are in the comfort of your own home, with your own snacks and beverages and maybe even the family pet to cuddle. This may feel very intimate, as you are inviting the mediator into your personal space to mediate with you and your partner. But you will also find it to be very convenient because there’s no traffic, you don’t have to take significant time off from work and the kids don’t need to be driven to practice by a certain time.
When your appointment is set up, you’ll be sent an email with your appointment link. There’s no need to install Zoom onto your computer, the link will bring you right to the mediation when you click on it. At the appointed time, Attorney Davis will open the mediation – and it will be closed upon your entry so that no one else can enter into our virtual room
It may take some effort on your part to create a private space to meet. Put your phone on mute, and make sure the door can be closed so that the children can’t walk in as well as to block the sound of the TV in the next room. You won’t want to sit in front of a window – we want to see you, not your silhouette! It’s important that you’re the only one in the room – not your parent, children or best friend, and certainly not any new relationship. This video conference is for you and your spouse or co-parent to mediate your particular issues, and trust and privacy are paramount for you both. The session will not be recorded.
Video-conferencing may feel odd at first. Depending upon where on cameras are, it may not always feel like Attorney Davis is looking at you; speak up if that makes you uncomfortable and she can shift the camera a bit. Sometimes, speakers sound different and the zoom conference will allow you to adjust your audio. Be sure that you have a good internet connection where you’ve set up your space so that you don’t cut in and out of the conference.
Besides being in the virtual room together, Attorney Davis will be able to share documents on the screen so that they can be worked on, just like the whiteboard in her office. Certainly, you’ll have your hard copies but the screen sharing feature allows us to actively work on documents like the financial affidavits, as well as reviewing together the agreements you reach.
Video-conferencing is a fantastic opportunity for you to continue to work on moving your divorce forward because really, all we’re doing is creating a space for you to talk. See this as a time of innovation and an opportunity to quickly and effectively manage conflict. Mediation services are now only a click away.