Technology and Divorce: The Spectrum
It’s no surprise reading this article by the Telegraph that divorce is on the rise as a result of today’s technology. The digital age of divorce can partially be blamed on how social media allows individuals to access each other so freely and easily. In a society now very much driven by technology, these are the consequences for many who choose to exploit these various social media platforms. Examples of these include Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and even Snapchat. 174 law have seen many cases involving such problems leading to the breakdown of relationships. Eventually, this is resulting in separation and divorce.
On the other hand…
In contrast, technology also has its positives in assisting many separated parties. Ironically, the advances of technology today can also help to resolve the problems that arise such as separation and divorce. Digital means can help in areas such as making arrangements for children or dealing with finances. There are many apps out there specifically aimed at the separated families. For example, apps can assist with communication through combined diaries and folders for uploading photos and school reports.
However technology is also being used in a more formal setting. Certain services are facilitating discussions in relation to arrangements and financial settlements post separation. What we are specifically referring to here, is online mediation.
What is mediation?
Mediation is a voluntary process that enables separating parties to meet in a neutral setting with an impartial individual. This individual is a Mediator who is also a qualified, experienced family solicitor. They can help people make informed decisions about their future finances and/or arrangements for their children. An initial assessment meeting (MIAM – Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting) is carried out with each party, usually separately. This enables the mediator to establish if mediation is suitable and if so, how best a meeting can be conducted.
What about ‘online mediation’?
This is where technology can be really useful. Typically, once it has been established that mediation is suitable and the parties have indicated they would like to mediate, the sessions take place with the 2 parties being in the same room with the mediator who does not leave the room at any time. However, for a number of reasons ‘online mediation’ is becoming increasingly popular and the preferred choice for many parties.
Why opt for this?
this can be due to reasons such as, there has been violence in the relationship and or the relationship has been volatile; the parties have not seen each other for many years and would simply feel more comfortable not coming into direct contact; logistically it is not realistic due to the parties living in different cities/country’s; due to work commitments is it not viable to attend meetings during work hours and so other options are preferred at the parties convenience; it is more cost effective for parties to have a mediation session conducted on-line.
How is it conducted?
Online mediation can include conducting a session for example via Skype, Facetime or conference call. Before such technology was available the situations described above may well have meant mediation was not an option but now, technology allows the parties to be given more choice. It means a client’s needs in a modern society can be met and all options are available to them.
Here to help
174 law are committed to offering services to our clients that reflect the current climate and meet client’s needs. We have much expertise in this area. And so technology, in the context of its effect on divorce and separation goes from one extreme to the other. At 174 law we can help at either end of that spectrum. Simply call our family team on 0151 647 7372 or email family@174law or email@example.com