West Coast Family Mediation Center has always offered online mediation as an option to our clients. Typically, the only clients who used such service were those who lived too far away to show up in person at one of our California offices.
Beginning March 17, 2020, we chose to move all of our mediations online in an effort to do our part to “flatten the curve” and try to get this virus behind our community and us, as fast as we can.
We understand with the work we do, and it can be challenging to think of completing this process virtually. We hear you, and we agree. We wish we were able to see all of you in person also. However, as we all find ourselves scrambling to settle into our “new normal,” we are beyond grateful that we have the opportunity to continue to serve our clients, even if it has to be online.
How It Works
To calm any anxiety around how the process will work, I wanted to give you an idea of how online mediation works. First, we set up an appointment, just like we always do. After we have an appointment scheduled, we will create a Zoom conference call, which will be emailed to you and your spouse (or whomever the other party might be). At the time of your appointment, you go into that email and click on the link, and boom, you are taken directly to the Zoom “meeting room.” The three of us will meet in that room. You can choose to turn on your screen (recommended), or if you are more comfortable without the screen, you can choose to let us hear you, but not see you. We will spend the same amount of time on the call/video as we would an in-person meeting (either 1-hour or 2-hours, depending on the type of meeting). I have to say, you would think it would be very impersonal, but after some time passes, you forget you are on a video call, and it feels like we are sitting right next to each other (sans the beautiful view out the windows!)
We know this will be hard to get used to, and you may be nervous to try, and that is OK. We can always pause your mediation until we are back in the office. For those of you who know waiting is not an option, we are here to help you through whatever conflict you are going through, and will commit to getting you to the other side, as quickly and efficiently as possible, in whatever way we can. Now, more than ever, we know our clients need us, and we will not abandon you.
Not Just Divorce
As a reminder, we mediate all issues that include family members. In light of our current circumstances, that maybe parents and teenagers, spouses who are not facing divorce, but need some help to wade through our current situation, spouses who are going through a divorce, or contemplating the same. Also, for those co-parents who need help modifying their parenting plan to manage new schedules now that kids are home from school or those who are facing job loss or decrease in income if you need a temporary relief/modification of support.
No matter what you are going through, we are here to help. If you are unsure if your situation can be improved with mediation, give us a call. We provide a free 30-minute telephone consultation to talk through your case and help you determine if online mediation is the best option for you and your family. Contact West Coast Family Mediation Center today to schedule your online mediation.
by: Jennifer Segura