Still on the fence about shifting to a divorce mediation practice? Let’s talk about one of the best perks: controlling your schedule with remote family law mediation.

Forget court calendars and last-minute hearings. Want a weekday off? Take it. Prefer working Saturdays? Go for it. Are you a night owl? Plenty of clients like evening meetings too! Want to attend all your kids’ activities? No problem, just schedule around them.

But wait, it gets better. What if you could control not just your schedule, but your location too? Thanks to COVID, many mediators moved online to platforms like Zoom. Even now, most clients prefer remote family law mediation. It’s convenient for them—no need for a babysitter, no commute, no traffic, no parking hassles. Plus, they don’t have to sit in the same room as their soon-to-be-ex. It’s actually a red flag for me if someone insists on in-person sessions, as they might want to intimidate or confront the other spouse face-to-face.

COVID also sped up electronic filing in many courts. Electronic signatures are now accepted, making remote family law mediation even easier. This means your “office” can be anywhere with decent internet or a good phone signal. Your vacation home, an Airbnb, a hotel anywhere in the world, or just a few hours from home.

How to Make Remote Family Law Mediation Work, Work:

  1. Consider Time Zones: The closer you stay to your clients’ time zone, the easier it is to schedule. If there’s a big time difference, think about what hours you like to work. For example, if you’re in the UK with West Coast clients (8-hour difference), you’ll be meeting later in your day, earlier in theirs. Do you prefer working later hours?
  2. Discipline: Working from home takes discipline. Working from a foreign country near a beautiful lake or beach takes even more. Can you stick to your work schedule despite the temptations?
  3. Logistics: Electronic filing and signatures work for most things but not everything. Each jurisdiction is different. Plan for mail, notarized signatures, and other hands-on work. Have a paralegal help you regularly or as needed.
  4. Equipment: A good, recent laptop is essential for remote family law mediation. Newer models have up-to-date processors and connectivity specs. Travel with an extension cord, a Wi-Fi extender, and necessary adapters if you’re abroad. A backup hard drive is also crucial. Back up your data regularly. If your laptop dies or gets stolen, you can be up and running quickly.
  5. Go Paperless: Ditch the yellow pads and get an electronic notepad or use your iPad. Many note-taking apps are available—check out YouTube for options. Keep your files in the cloud, accessible anytime, anywhere. Have clients upload documents to a shared file. Ensure the security of your chosen program.
  6. Billing: Use a billing program that emails invoices and allows online payments. For clients who prefer writing checks, have them sent to your paralegal. Set up your practice for pay-as-you-go, flat fees upfront, and keep credit card authorizations on file. Make sure you comply with state bar rules and laws.
  7. Phones: Does your phone plan include international calls and unlimited data? If so, it’s seamless for clients. Otherwise, get SIM cards and Wi-Fi hotspots in most countries. Changing your phone number can be complicated, but some tech geeks love the challenge of making remote family law mediation work for you.
  8. Explore Slomading or Slow Travel: You can travel and work, but frequent location changes are challenging. Consider staying in one place for 1-3 months. Check visa and passport rules. Many countries now offer remote work visas for extended stays.
  9. Health Care/Insurance: If working outside the US, check your health insurance coverage. Long-term travel insurance is available. Costs vary, increasing with age and lower deductibles. Health care in many countries is good and affordable. Research before you go.
  10. Prescriptions: Take copies of any prescriptions you require with you. In some countries, you may be able to get some prescriptions over the counter. For others, you may need to get a local prescription. Your Hotel concierge or Airbnb host can often help you find local care. Check with your doctor and insurance and see if you can get a 90 day or longer supply of your medications for the purpose of travel.

Expand your world with remote online mediation!

Working remotely can be a full-filling experience. Doing remote family law mediation can expand your world and your life-experience. No waiting for retirement required. Working out the details takes some effort and planning, but the rewards can be great! Expand your world. Whether you decide to work remotely for a week, a couple of months or a year, it can be done when you’re a mediator!