If you’re looking for an alternative to traditional litigation to resolve your divorce or separation matters, mediation is a great option. However, for some couples, especially those with high conflict and/or history of abuse, it can be difficult to have the crucial discussion necessary to move forward in their case if they can’t meet face-to-face.
Luckily, there’s an alternative to that – shuttle mediation. In this mediation style, the parties don’t meet with each other face-to-face but are instead kept separate in the same room and the mediator goes back and forth between them either online or by phone. This can be an excellent choice for those couples who are worried about the safety issues associated with meeting in the same room or who don’t want to have their children present in the same room with the other parent.
The main benefit of shuttle mediation is that it allows couples to have the important discussions they need without being in the same room as each other. This can be extremely helpful for those with domestic violence or high conflict histories as it is a way to avoid the power imbalance and potential triggers that can come with being in the same room together.
Another key advantage of shuttle mediation is that it allows the mediator to have more time to spend with each individual. This is beneficial for those with high conflict or abusive backgrounds because it gives them a chance to explain their side of the story, how the conflict has made them feel and what they would like to see differently in the future. It is also an opportunity for each person to express their feelings to the mediator and have them heard, which can be incredibly powerful.
The downsides of shuttle mediation are that it takes longer than face-to-face mediation because the mediator has to go back and forth between each party. It can also be challenging to set an agenda for each session as the mediator needs to address each person’s concerns without putting too much pressure on them, and it can be a challenge for the mediator to communicate effectively with each party when they are not in the same room together as it can be difficult to read body language and tone of voice.
The final thing to consider with shuttle mediation is that there can be a lack of impact on the end result. For some people, it is really important to hear from the other person in their situation and to have a sense of connection with them – which can be hard to accomplish through shuttle mediation. what is shuttle mediation