As you would expect, mediation can be very different for each individual case. Some people prefer to meet in person whereas others are unable or unwilling to do this, especially where there has been coercive or controlling behaviour. It is very important that your mediator understands your concerns, your history and if possible your goals for resolving your situation in order to ensure the best outcome. If there is a risk of violence or intimidation this will also be taken into account and a shuttle style of mediation may be appropriate.
Shuttle mediation can be conducted either in person with the parties staying separate or remotely online or over a phone call. The mediator “shuttles” back and forth between the couples to help them reach an agreement. This can be a great option for high conflict or abuse situations as it prevents the former couple from having to sit in the same room together. This can be particularly helpful if one or both of the parties have been subject to abuse or are still struggling with feelings of fear and control.
At your MIAM meeting we will discuss whether shuttle mediation is appropriate for you and what arrangements will be put in place if this is the case. We have a very high success rate with joint mediation but we are more than happy to go into shuttle for those clients who have specific concerns about being in the same room together.
It takes a little longer than joint mediation as the mediator is spending time with each party in separate rooms and has to work through the process of explaining their viewpoints to both parties. It can also be difficult to have a full understanding of what the other side is saying as information can get lost in translation. Finally, it can take significantly longer to reach a settlement as each session is completed separately and the mediator has to complete all of the same processes twice.
However, there are many benefits of shuttle mediation. It allows both parties to have a voice and to be heard, something that is very important when attempting to reach an agreement in any dispute. It also allows the mediator to spend more time on those issues where there is more disagreement, giving both sides a better chance of reaching a resolution. It can be a quicker process than going to court and it can be a lot less expensive.
At Family Circle Mediation we have a team of dedicated mediators who are experienced in conducting shuttle mediation. We can help you decide if this is the right way forward for your situation and ensure that you are fully supported throughout the mediation process. Contact us to arrange a MIAM or if you are already mediating with another firm you should speak with your mediator to find out more about our services. We look forward to hearing from you. shuttle mediation pros and cons