In many high conflict or domestic violence cases, particularly where there has been a history of aggression and intimidation, it can be difficult for a couple to sit together in the same room for mediation. However, in order to facilitate an effective and successful settlement process and avoid the often lengthy court litigation associated with such cases, mediation is essential. Shuttle mediation is a technique used in these types of cases where it may be inappropriate or unsafe for the parties to sit together in the same room.
The mediator will then hold meetings with each party in their separate rooms (which can be done face-to-face or over the phone or online) where they will discuss their case in detail and provide information about any issues or concerns that are being raised. The mediator can then use the information gathered in the mediation to begin formulating ideas and proposals that will meet each parties core interests. This is known as stage two of the mediation and can be a complex process.
At this point the mediator will likely begin “shuttle diplomacy” – going back and forth between the different rooms for a series of conversations, suggestions and proposals that will help narrow differences between the parties and seek to create a solution that will satisfy both sides’ core interests. This is where the experience of the mediator becomes vitally important as they can offer their insight and expertise to assist the parties in putting together a proposal that will be acceptable to both.
Often, shuttle mediation can lead to a solution that is not only legally sound but also satisfies the needs and interests of both parties. However, there are some disadvantages to shuttle mediation that should be considered.
One of the main disadvantages to shuttle mediation is that the process can take longer than a full face-to-face mediation because there is more time spent in each individual room for each meeting. This can be frustrating for both parties involved in the case as it may increase costs and their overall level of frustration throughout the mediation process.
Another potential disadvantage is that some parties can feel they are not being fully heard by the other side when there is a shuttle mediation process in place. This can make some people feel like their voice is not being heard and that they are not being respected as a person. This can be frustrating for the parties as well and can make it difficult to reach a settlement in the end.
However, despite these drawbacks, shuttle mediation can be an effective way to mediate for high conflict and domestic violence situations. At Family Circle Mediation, we often use virtual shuttle mediation for our high conflict or domestic violence cases to ensure that both parties feel safe, are not triggered by the other person’s presence and can negotiate a settlement without having to be in the same room together. We have had great success in using this mediation method and we are happy to provide more information and assist you in considering whether it would be appropriate for your situation. shuttle mediation pros and cons