It is a very unsettling and difficult time for us all at the moment, but none more so than for separated couples who find themselves in self-isolation, either together or in separate homes. If this is you or someone you know, you may be wondering how you will ever be able to sort things out and move on with your life.
Whilst you can continue to instruct a family law solicitor to advise you about a divorce or separation over the telephone, it is also still possible to consider other “round table” options. We all have to adapt and be creative in these troubling times; as a family law solicitor and mediator I am now offering telephone and video meetings to my clients. For my family mediations I have the technology to offer virtual mediations, whereby both spouses/partners and I will be “together” on our screens. As family mediation is often a quicker and more cost effective option than other alternatives, such as court proceedings or traditional solicitor negotiations, it is important to continue to provide this service.
In order to ensure that virtual mediation is appropriate and can go ahead, certain criteria apply as follows:
- everyone will need to ensure that they have access to a device or computer with a camera or webcam;
- everyone will need to ensure they have a quiet room without distractions for the duration of the mediation without anyone being able to hear or have access to otherwise confidential information;
- no other third party should be present to ensure neither person is being unduly influenced by, for example, their family member or new partner;
- everyone must ensure they have the relevant IT security systems in place and that there is enough bandwidth;
- if the spouses/partners are living in the same house the mediator will need to check, in individual conversations, whether you are comfortable with the virtual mediation going ahead.
If you would like any further help or information about family law and/or family mediation please contact Sarah French on 023 8071 8878 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.