How to Divorce Online During Covid-19: Free Online Mediation Checklist

how to divorce during covid-19Resolving divorce and family conflicts are more important now than ever during Covid-19. Thankfully, we live in an age of sophisticated technology. Zoom online mediation brings the mediation room to you!

I have provided virtual remote mediation for many years to accommodate clients living in different locations. And I have learned a lot about what makes for a successful Zoom mediation.

Online Divorce During Covid-19: Do’s and Don’ts

DO Plan Ahead

Mediating stressful conflict occurs best when you are comfortable, free of distractions, and have what you need to keep yourself calm. To that end, consider:

Location: Where can I have the most privacy? My bedroom? My office? My car? The basement?

Minimizing Distractions: Where will the kids be? What can they be doing outside of earshot? What about the dog?

Timing: How can I avoid needing to multi-task? Should I cook before or after? Can I clear my work calendar for two hours?

Comfort — Physically and Emotionally: What do I need to be comfortable? Can I fill up my water bottle in advance? Do I need something to fidget with? If I’m living with my spouse should we be together? Or separate rooms on different devices?

Preparation: Should I have paper and pen to take notes? Have I printed out forms that I need? Do I have a calculator available?

Technology: Am I familiar with Zoom (click here for Zoom tutorials)? Should I do a test call? Where do I have the strongest Wi-Fi connection? What device am I going to use? Do I need to start my video and audio settings?

 

;

When Divorcing Online, Avoid…

Driving: Believe it or not, zoom driving happens. It’s dangerous! And distracting. If your car is the most private spot make sure you’re parked.

Being too Informal: It can be easy to loosen boundaries in the comfort of your own home. Remember, mediation typically occurs in a formal conference room — aim to present yourself as you would in my office!

Drinking Alcohol: In the comfort of your home it might be tempting to have a drink while mediating — if you wouldn’t do it in my office, don’t do it at home during mediation. It will interfere with your decision-making and compromise the process.

Inflammatory/Intimidating Backgrounds: Do not fiddle with weapons, cut vegetables with a sharp knife, have a photo of your new significant other in the background, or expose the other party to things that will increase tension, stress, and obstacles to good-faith negotiation.

A Word about Kids and Online Divorce Mediation During Covid-19

Mediating from home is hard, particularly for parents. Remember, it is in your kids’ best interest they are not exposed to:

  • Financial matters between parents
  • Court and legal matters between parents
  • Conflict, tension, and arguing between their parents

Make sure your kids are engaged in an activity out of ear-shot. If necessary, let me know that you need to take breaks to check-in with your kids..or if your kids walk in the room unexpectedly!

Balancing parenting, work, and a divorce from home is a tall-task. Part of my job is to make the process work for you — and that includes making adjustments so that online divorce and family mediation is as effective as in-person mediation!

What other recommendations do you have for how to mediate divorce during Covid-19 online? Please leave a comment!

Tags: , , , , ,

About the Author ()

I help families resolve conflict through family mediation and divorce mediation in Massachusetts. My services include mediation for co-parenting disputes, marriage problems, separation and divorce, parents and teenagers, and family conflicts. The goal of my mediator's blog is to help teach or remind readers of helpful communication and conflict resolution techniques that can be used in their relationships. I live in Natick, MA with my wife, son and dog and mediate throughout the Metrowest Boston region. Please note that my name is spelled Ben Stich, not Ben Stitch.

Enter your email address to subscribe to Ben's blog:
Privacy guaranteed. We never share your info.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *