Moving family mediation online

Family mediation is still going ahead across England and Wales, as mediators working for the largest provider adapt to the current situation surrounding Coronavirus, and use video conferencing as a substitute for in-person meetings.

National Family Mediation (NFM) CEO, Jane Robey, says: “Family mediation is a conversation, which usually involves three people meeting in a room: a mediator and a separating couple.

“In response to the current context, our mediators are still mediating, but increasingly using video conferencing. It’s now three people in a ‘virtual’ room.

“Nobody truly knows how long the situation will last, but it is essential that we continue to provide the means for separating and divorcing couples to make arrangements for parenting, property and money. Separating couples can’t let the uncertainty about their new futures linger.”

NFM has a network of accredited family mediators working in over 500 locations, often in hired community venues. Jane Robey said many of these had decided to close their doors to bookings.

“Moving mediation online is an agile and sensible response to the present situation,” she added.

“Our staff are working hard to assure everyone using our services that we have measures in place to help keep everyone as safe as possible in the wake of this outbreak, and all NFM staff are following protocols and safety advice from the UK Government and the NHS.”

Family mediation takes place between two people who have been in some form of relationship which is ending. The process helps them make decisions for the future. It helps people focus on issues affecting them both, for example parenting, property and money and what to do about it all now they are separated.