We are certainly living in a different time right now. Sheltering in place, social distancing, and wearing masks. And as many areas begin to reopen and relax restrictions, life will start to look much like it did before. One of the places that are not reopening and may not be for a while are the Courts. Since these are places where large gatherings are common, these may be the last to resume operations.
For many, the closure of the courts has had no effect. For others, this has had a huge impact. Those in the middle of a divorce have had their cases put on hold indefinitely. When the courts do reopen at some point, there will be a backlog of cases already the system such as those whose scheduled hearings and trials were canceled as well as those that need to be scheduled. The partial or full resolution of the cases will be delayed indefinitely. Those who have just decided to move ahead with their divorce cannot begin their cases until the courts have opened. When the courts do restart, these cases will be the last to be heard due to the backlog of existing cases when this pandemic began.
For those who are beginning their divorce journey and even the ones that are already in the process, there are alternative paths than using the courts to resolve their case. Mediation with or without attorneys is one option. The spouses can utilize this dispute resolution opportunity whether their divorce has been filed in court or not. There is a significant reduction in cost if attorneys are not used. The most significant benefit of mediation is that the parties and only the parties decide the outcome of their case instead of a judge. Who best to know how to resolve their divorce issues effectively? Another benefit is that the parties decide when to meet and not allow the courts to dictate the speed or lack thereof of their case. The parties also decide when to end their case. Frequently, their case takes significantly less time to come to a resolution than if their case was in court. Many times, their cases can be resolved in one meeting. The swiftness, direction, and outcome of their case are totally in the hands of the parties who use mediation to resolve their divorce.
The time is now to move ahead with your divorce even though the courts may be closed. Mediation is one option to resolve your case. Next week, I will focus on another opportunity to resolve your divorce without using the courts.
As a Certified Family Law Mediator, I have facilitated and worked with many couples toward a successful outcome of their divorce through mediation. Having previous experience as a CPA allows me to provide additional support in developing financial options with them.
If you’d like more information on how to move forward with your divorce or any other family law matter contact Attorney Anthony Diaz today at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss any family or marital legal issues you may be experiencing.