The role of a mediator is to help people create and consider options for their future. The work is often challenging yet rewarding. Typically the parties to mediation will meet around a table with their neutral mediator who will assist them in coming to an agreement. However, over the last several months I have had a number of cases in which the parties were moving further apart – geographically, that is. The nature of our society has made us far more mobile, and the demands of today’s economy often require parties to move physical locations before they have concluded a mediation and a filing with the local court.
Thankfully mediation is a flexible tool and I often look to technology to assist my clients with these new geographical challenges. I’ve used email, phone conferences, Skype and GoToMeeting videoconferences to meet with parties who are ready to take the next step in their lives and have already moved on in some physical way. While I generally prefer to meet in person, these technologies help my clients complete the process in a certain time frame and in a cost effective manner that works for them.
The technology is sound, and I often find that it helps clients by reducing the emotions in the “room” and allows them to focus on the issues at hand. I have to work a bit harder to make sure that physical cues aren’t being missed and that everyone has their opportunity to be heard.
Once the couple has resolved all the issues surrounding the divorce or other family matter, I can draft the necessary documents and then express mail them around for signatures. In cases of divorce, I can often help the parties by drafting a joint motion to excuse the appearance of the party who has moved far away if returning for the hearing would be overly burdensome. This provides a tremendous savings to the “remote” party and can expedite their resolution.
When geographical or scheduling challenges create obstacles to resolution, mediation combined with the latest technologies can help the parties to move forward in a timely and cost efficient way. If you would like to know more about how mediation may help you, please contact my office.
Martin Murphy, Esq. is a collaborative attorney and seasoned mediator. He is dedicated to using the principles and benefits of mediation and collaborative law in the general representation of businesses, their owners and in helping families facing divorce, child custody and other family law issues. The Law Office of Martin Murphy, LLC located in Norwood MA, serves clients in the surrounding communities including Attleboro, Canton, Foxboro, Franklin, Mansfield, Medfield, Medway, Millis, Norfolk, North Attleboro, Plainville, Sharon, Walpole, Westwood, and Wrentham., Marty can be reached at email@example.com