If you are in the midst of divorcing your spouse, or even thinking about divorce, then it is likely that you have heard of mediation. In Tennessee, and elsewhere, mediation is a requirement before having your case heard by the judge. There are many different types of mediation available to you, including shuttle mediation. In shuttle mediation, the mediator(s) do not meet you and your spouse face to face, but instead’shuttles’ back and forth between the two of you. This can be done in person, in separate rooms, or online. There are advantages and disadvantages to this method of mediation.
One of the main benefits is that it can be less confronting, hostile and emotional than sitting in the same room. It is often more effective for people who are struggling to communicate with each other. This type of mediation is also very useful if there are children involved. This is because you will be able to discuss important issues such as parenting plans and custody arrangements with your ex-husband without having to see each other face to face.
Another advantage of shuttle mediation is that it can be much quicker than traditional face to face mediation. It can also be cheaper, especially if you are both getting legal advice. Shuttle mediation can also be more flexible and accommodating to people with scheduling challenges. For example, it is possible to mediate during the daytime rather than at night, and to meet in a virtual room with a webcam. This is particularly beneficial for those who live far away from each other and are unable to travel for mediation sessions.
A significant drawback to shuttle mediation is that it can be very difficult to get an agreement that satisfies all parties. The lack of a chance to directly express your feelings can lead to a mediation settlement that you find unsatisfactory and that may not reflect your core interests. This can then result in disputes when you need to implement the settlement.
The other issue is that the mediator does not have a chance to hear directly from both sides of the dispute. It can be very powerful to hear what is really at the heart of a conflict from the other party themselves, and this can sometimes help bring about a change in attitude.
As a general rule, I am not a fan of shuttle mediation as it can prevent the parties from engaging in discussion and brainstorming solutions that meet their needs and interests. However, it is sometimes necessary, and I believe that a mediator should always try to offer the option of shuttle mediation in cases where the parties feel that it would be helpful. In these instances, I would encourage the parties to consider the positive aspects of this type of mediation and to think carefully about whether they want to explore it further. If you are considering shuttle mediation, then it is a good idea to raise the matter with your mediator at your MIAM appointment so that they can advise you on your options. shuttle mediation pros and cons