The use of shuttle mediation has increased in recent years. It can be used in any family law matter and is particularly appropriate where there has been a history of domestic violence (IPV/A). The mediator meets the former couple separately, either by phone or online, then moves back and forth between them as they discuss issues.
In IPV/A cases, it may be unsafe to have both parties in the same room because of the potential for physical and emotional harm. Shuttle mediation can be a helpful way to help parents who have experienced IPV/A come to a parenting agreement in the face of a very challenging situation.
Using shuttle mediation for high conflict cases can be more cost effective than meeting in the same room and also less disruptive to the children involved. However, it is important to note that this type of mediation does not work for all cases. There are many reasons why a joint mediation session is not possible or beneficial, but this will be reflected in the mediation plan for each individual client.
A key thing that can be difficult to do in a shuttle mediation is for the mediator to ensure that the points made by each party are clearly communicated to the other party. It is also important that the key issues are honed in on so that the final agreement will be successful.
In addition to family matters, shuttle mediation can be useful in other situations such as neighbour disputes. Sometimes neighbours don’t get on and it can be difficult to reach an agreement about noise levels for TV, hi-fi or games. Having a shuttle mediation session with a mediator can be a good way to explore what is acceptable level of noise and reach a solution.
Shuttle mediation can be an excellent alternative to going to court, but it is also essential that you choose a mediator who is fully trained and experienced in this area. The most experienced mediators generally have at least a degree in psychology, sociology or human relations. They are able to offer their knowledge of the law and how best to approach a dispute in an informed and sensitive way.
At Mediate UK, we have a 90% success rate for our clients who go on to a joint mediation session. We have had some great success stories with parents who have used shuttle mediation, including one case where the parents hadn’t seen each other for 4 years. This couple started with shuttle mediation and ended up with a great parenting plan that allows them to co-parent their child. For more information on how we can help you, contact us here.