Resolving divorce related disputes online can deprive parties of the benefits a skilled mediator can provide, Professor Susan Brooks wrote in the American Bar Association’s Dispute Resolution magazine.
While geographic separations or domestic violence issues can make online dispute resolution an effective tool in certain divorce situations, there are potential drawbacks in other circumstances, said Brooks.
“Online dispute resolution seems like caucusing, in that the parties are separated by distance and the mediator is dealing with them one at a time,” Brooks wrote. “When used excessively, caucusing eventually becomes something other than mediation and bears similarities to traditional adversarial processes.”
Brooks, the associate dean for experiential learning, is an authority on therapeutic jurisprudence who received training as a social worker and worked as a certified family mediator. She has published extensively on relationship centered lawyering, a perspective focused on the well-being of those involved in legal matters.