914.946.0848  .  contact  .  map & directions  .  subscribe  .  LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+

Mediating via Emails

April 7, 2021  | 
Blonde businesswoman writing and working with laptop

{3 minutes to read} I understand that there are some mediators in favor of mediation via email. Those that I have encountered are conducting commercial or other multi-party mediations. The positive aspects include: 

  • easier scheduling;
  • parties from other states, or even countries, can participate without travel or time zone constraints;
  • parties can take time to draft an appropriate and more reasoned response; and
  • parties can easily find information from prior “conversations.”

It’s been my experience in family mediations, though, that mediating via email is problematic.

Of course, I use email for communicating to clients at the same time in terms of scheduling, the initial forms and letters, and sending drafts of agreements. To actually have substantive discussions though, mediation via email has not proven productive.

A lack of nuance and intent.

Reading words on a screen without the context of the tone of voice or facial expression can be very off-putting. Some phrases seem harsh and can convey a dismissive or angry tone that the person did not intend. On the other hand, a person might be more prone to email something provocative that they would never say in person.
 
Even if the mediator is willing to try to intervene and help the discussion, by the time the mediator enters the conversation, the email chain could have gone on for hours — and without any attempt at a mutual understanding, the damage that could derail the mediation has already been done. 
 

Partial or non-responses are given.

In an email, it’s easy to respond only to those comments/requests you want to and ignore what you do not want to answer. I have read email chains where the parties seem to be having completely different discussions. An email can begin with a party raising three points but the response only references point 2. The reply then ignores the response to point 2 and brings up point 4, and so on and so on...

The responses are not in real-time.

While there is a benefit to being able to ponder a statement and then craft a response, delay adds to the frustration of the other party. This can make a difficult issue even more difficult to resolve, especially if follow-up emails are sent demanding a response.
 
I also believe that in family mediation, an immediate reaction from the heart can be quite powerful and may not be substantially conveyed in an email that has been reviewed and edited for perfection. 
 

In the long run, it costs you more in fees.

It takes billable time for your mediator to go through the email chains and try to piece together what, if anything, has been resolved. Invariably, there will be a point that is missed or a response that is not clear when the mediator summarizes the numerous emails. That can then start the whole process over again.

If there are issues that come up in between meetings, I am more in favor of scheduling a phone call. Then, when necessary, I can intervene and be sure that everyone understands one another and the agreements that are being made. 

Clare Piro Attorney and Mediator

Attorney & Mediator
500 Mamaroneck Avenue | Suite 320
Harrison, NY 10528
Tel: 914.946.0848

Email »

Comments
Search
Topics
Mediation (82) | Divorce (75) | Divorce Mediation (20) | Mediator (13) | Conflict (9) | Litigation (8) | Child Support (8) | Separation Agreement (7) | Consultation (6) | Collaborative Divorce (6) | Clare A. Piro Mediation (6) | Clare A. Piro (6) | Separation (5) | Co-Parenting (5) | Parenting Plan (5) | Communication (5) | Children (4) | Settlement (4) | Finances (4) | Parenting (4) | Attorney (4) | Family (4) | Equitable Distribution (3) | Clients (3) | Mediation Myths (3) | Clare Piro (3) | Divorce Finances (3) | Marital Assets (3) | Child Inclusive Mediation (3) | Divorce And Children (3) | Divorce Mediator (3) | Child Consultant (3) | Child Support Standards Act (3) | Expenses (3) | Agreement (3) | Spouse (2) | Marital Property (2) | Separate Property (2) | Truth (2) | Budgets (2) | Collaborative Practice (2) | College Expenses (2) | Apology (2) | Informed Decisions (2) | Equal Parenting Plan (2) | Listening (2) | Legislation (2) | Compromise (2) | Emotions (2) | Child Support Standards Act (CSSA) (2) | Pandemic (2) | Relationships (2) | Assets (2) | Financial Professional (2) | Custody (2) | Moving Forward (2) | Seperation (2) | Anger (2) | Step-Mother (2) | Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) (2) | Settlement Agreements (2) | Conflict During Mediation (2) | Mediation Versus Litigation (2) | Mediation Benefits (2) | Couples (2) | Bitterness (2) | Step-Children (2) | Anxiety (2) | Step-Father (2) | Unrequited Love (2) | Post-Divorce Income (2) | Marital Home (2) | Calculating Support (2) | CSSA (2) | Mediate (2) | Coronavirus (1) | Dividing House Asset (1) | Ex-Spouse (1) | But (1) | Apologizing (1) | Social Distancing (1) | Cash Flow (1) | Equity Loan (1) | Interest Payments (1) | Emotional Attachment (1) | Refinance (1) | Property Distribution (1) | Meditate (1) | Maintaining Calm (1) | Divorce Assets (1) | Equitable Distribution Statute (1) | Collaborative Process (1) | Fiancé (1) | Reluctant Spouse (1) | Post Nuptial (1) | Time To Process (1) | Patience (1) | Lawyer (1) | Mental Health Professional (1) | Marriage Counseling (1) | Family Law Software (1) | Financial Information (1) | Frame Of Mind (1) | Financial Documents (1) | Court Process (1) | Telling Your Spouse (1) | Prenuptial Agreement (Prenup) (1) | Entitlement (1) | Negotiation (1) | Needs Vs Wants (1) | Court Vs Mediation (1) | Prenup (1) | Prenuptial Agreement (1) | Marital Concerns (1) | Asset Distribution (1) | Attitudes Toward Prenups (1) | Seller (1) | PostNup (1) | Buyer (1) | Fear Of Separation (1) | Separating (1) | Mediation Misconceptions (1) | Older Adults (1) | 50/50 Parenting Plan (1) | An Advocate (1) | A Neutral (1) | Non-Residential Parent (1) | Child Support Payment (1) | NYs Child Support Guidelines (CSSA) (1) | Child's Best Interests (1) | Custody Determination (1) | Primary Caretaker (1) | Domestic Violence (1) | Older Parents (1) | Elder Mediation (1) | Eldercare (1) | Tough Decisions (1) | On-Duty Parent Responsibilities (1) | Anxious Thoughts (1) | Pathological Liar (1) | Expectations (1) | Joseph Goldstein (1) | Feelings (1) | Intention (1) | New Year’s Resolutions (1) | Child Focused Mediation (1) | Mediating Emails (1) | Family Mediations (1) | Communicating (1) | Tone Of Voice (1) | Facial Expression (1) | Transition Day (1) | Children And Divorce (1) | Complicated Finances (1) | Couples Counseling (1) | FinancialPortfolio (1) | Multiple Assets (1) | Custody Disputes (1) | Matrimonial Cases (1) | Court Order (1) | COVID19 (1) | Global Pandemic (1) | Maggie O’Connor (1) | Remain Healthy (1) | Lack Of Communication (1) | Unhappy Relationship (1) | Heard (1) | Understood (1) | Power Of Regret (1) | Co-parenting (1) | Guilt (1) | Taking Responsibility (1) | Divorce Agreement (1) | Holiday Season (1) | Parental Holiday Sharing (1) | Cultural Holidays (1) | Religious Holidays (1) | Mediating Onine (1) | Mediating Virtually (1) | Technical Difficulties (1) | Agreement To Mediate (1) | Caucus (1) | 50/50 Parenting (1) | Parenting Schedules (1) | Accepting Responsibility (1) | Dreaming (1) | Remarriage After Divorce (1) | Divorce Law (1) | Self-talk (1) | New York (1) | Budget (1) | Agreements (1) | Dogs (1) | Adopt Shelter Dogs (1) | Older Dogs (1) | Effects On Family (1) | Living Together (1) | Living Apart (1) | Baby Boomers (1) | Grandparents (1) | Abundance (1) | Blame (1) | Scarcity (1) | Resolution (1) | Marriage (1) | Summer (1) | Kids (1) | School Year (1) | Power (1) | Acknowledgement (1) | Conflicy (1) | Fall (1) | Extremes (1) | Payments (1) | Seperation Agreement (1) | Advice (1) | 2015 (1) | Responsibility (1) | Finding Love After Divorce (1) | Parenting Plans (1) | Parenting Post-Divorce (1) | Joint Physical Custody (1) | Moving On After Divorce (1) | Halloween (1) | Fear Of Divorce (1) | Scared Of Divorce (1) | Holiday Blues (1) | Holidays Post-Divorce (1) | Alone At The Holidays (1) | Consulting Attorney (1) | Post-Divorce Dating (1) | House (1) | Year In Review (1) | Equity (1) | Mental Health (1) | Specialist (1) | Relocation (1) | Change (1) | Difficult Clients (1) | Self-determination (1) | Self Determination (1) | New York State (1) | Control (1) | Balance (1) | Equality (1) | Mindfulness (1) | Unemployment (1) | Moving On (1) | Family Enrichment (1) | Little White Lies (1) | Intervention (1) | Custodial Parent (1) | Financial Situation (1) | Husband (1) | Wife (1) | Bankruptcy (1) | Affair (1) | Married (1) | Settlement Agreement (1) | Personal Relationships (1) | Public Trust (1) | Lies (1) | Dishonest (1) | Beneficiary (1) | Spouses (1) | Separation Agreements (1) | Work Stress (1) | Holiday Preparations (1) | Perfection (1) | Matrimonial Dispute (1) | LawyerDivorceMediation (1) | MediationSession (1) | FamilyMediation (1) | AttorneyPresence (1) | Blended Families (1) | Significant Other (1) | Attitudes (1) | Therapy (1) | Spousal Support (1) | Disclosure (1) | Divorce Papers (1) | Parents (1) | Contribution (1) | College (1) | Nesting (1) | Compassion (1) | Hurricane Harvey (1) | Married Couples (1) | Commingling (1) | Transmutation (1) | Maritial Property (1) | Maritial Assets (1) | Retirement Account (1) | Negative Communication (1) | Life Insurance (1) | Joint Decision Making (1) | Joint Legal Custody (1) | Installment Agreements (1) | Temporary Agreement (1) | Permanent Agreement (1) | Tentative Agreements (1) | Accusations Of Delay (1) | Lack Of Trust (1) | Financial Costs (1) | Joint Account (1) | Settle Agreement (1) | Divorce Coach (1) | Settlement Term (1) | New York’s Child Support And Maintenance (1) |
Connect
Close Announcement

Online Mediation Available

In response to COVID-19 I am providing family and divorce mediation services online. Click to learn more.