We have been sheltering in place for over three months and it looks like it will be awhile before we return to “normal.” Courthouses are moving on to the next phase, but in person appearances are still not happening(for the most part). With other states experiencing increases in cases it is possible that the courts will revert back to having no one in the courthouse.
What does this all mean for couples getting divorced? Well, these restrictions only impact those couples who are looking to litigate or fight their battles in the courtroom. In those cases where spouses decide to divorce through mediation and collaborative divorce, couples are finding that the process is working.
Mediation and collaborative divorces are happening in a virtual world. These are both methods for spouses to divorce outside of the courts. Through Zoom and other mediums, client meetings are happening. Couples can make major decisions with the assistance of trained professionals about their lives. Spouses can move forward with their lives and are not restricted by the fact that courts are not open. And because couples attend meetings from their desk at work or their kitchen table, it is easier to schedule.
Here in New Jersey, the courts have approved processes to finalize settled divorces without the need for an appearance before the Judge. Cases can be completed in a matter of weeks and done through the papers. By simplifying the process for settled cases, it makes mediation and collaborative divorce much more efficient and expedient means for a couple to divorce.
My office has been working virtually with individuals and couples in assisting them to resolve their differences, negotiate the terms of their settlement and allow them to divorce without the stress, costs and time that is associated with litigation.
Questions about how you can divorce during this pandemic? Contact the office to schedule a consultation.