Skype Mediation for Divorce

Skype is a great way to hold video conference meetings. It is especially helpful for people who are unable to attend in person. It is also useful for couples who want to mediate without being in the same room.

The Mediation Server role translates signaling between your internal Enterprise Voice infrastructure and a public switched telephone network (PSTN) gateway or Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunk. It supports M:N topologies and includes a media bypass feature.
1. It’s free

Skype and other video conferencing tools can be very useful for mediations where parties don’t feel comfortable meeting face to face. They can be particularly useful if the divorce has been traumatic for both parties.

A mediation session conducted via skype can be just as effective as a face to face one. All the parties will need a computer with a high-speed internet connection. They will also need a webcam (or a camera built into their computers). It is helpful for the parties to use headphones and to sit in an area that is free from distractions.

In most deployments, the Mediation Server translates signaling between the Enterprise Voice infrastructure and a public switched telephone network (PSTN) gateway or Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunk. The Mediation Server might also translate the media itself between these points, depending on your topology and whether you use media bypass or call admission control (CAC). It’s typically best to deploy a single Mediation Server in a stand-alone pool.
2. It’s easy to use

As the coronavirus continues to close offices in government and business, mediation through Skype and other video conferencing software has become an increasingly popular option for families dealing with divorce and family law issues. With the ability to “share” a computer screen, participants can easily discuss issues like parenting plans and finances.

While some people feel that they are less productive if they do not physically sit in the same room, for others this is the most comfortable way to mediate. For example, if someone is very emotional during mediation, the ability to walk off camera and take a break can help them calm down and remain focused.

To use skype as a platform for mediation, it is recommended that mediators prepare the participants beforehand by giving them detailed instructions about how to download skype and set up their cameras. It is also recommended that the mediator configures a service pilot agent to collect Skype for Business Mediation Role statistics, using WMI. This can be done through the /prmpackages page of the service pilot application.
3. It’s secure

All Skype-to-Skype voice, video and file transfers are encrypted, so you’re protected from eavesdropping by malicious users. However, calls that include PSTN (the ordinary phone network) are not encrypted and therefore can be intercepted by anyone who knows how to listen in.

Skype and other video conferencing tools offer an alternative way for mediators to work with parties who don’t feel comfortable in the same room. This can be particularly useful if the separation is traumatic or if it’s the first time the parties have met since the breakdown of the relationship.

When setting up mediation over Skype it’s important to ensure that your PBX and Mediation server are on separate, non-routable subnets so that PBX signalling is only passed on TLS. Also, if you’re using a proxy server between the PBX and your mediation pool, make sure to open firewall ports 60,000 – 65,536 between that server and your internal/mediation network. Ensure that the DMZ NIC is not associated with the proxy server.
4. It’s flexible

In the case of divorce, Skype or other video conferencing could be used if parties can’t meet in person. This is especially helpful if the parties are in different locations or are unable to travel. During the mediation session, the mediator will talk to each party individually to allow them to discuss their concerns and find out what their needs are.

Topology Builder supports flexibility in defining trunks for call routing purposes. This means that a single Mediation Server can have multiple associated listening ports with gateways, and that a gateway can have multiple trunks to different Mediation Servers.

If you deploy a Direct SIP connection between your Enterprise Voice PBX and a qualified PSTN gateway with support for media bypass, or if you deploy an IP-PBX or SBC that can DNS load balance to a pool of Mediation Servers, then deploying a stand-alone Mediation Server pool may not be necessary. However, you must ensure that the Front End pool that hosts a Mediation Server has sufficient capacity to handle the signaling mediation

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