Family Law and COVID 19

Family law courts continue to conduct business and have been utilizing technology such as Zoom for hearings and trials.

Some counties have been requiring that “Standing Temporary Mutual Injunctions” Orders.” be attached to all new filings. These are Orders that can protect your assets and help to maintain the status quo for a child until you and the other party can reach an agreement or there are additional Court orders regarding these issues in your case. Go to the court’s websites for their standing orders.

Parties at times are going to have to exercise discretion regarding possession and access to a child. Use sound judgment that is in the best interest of a child. This is a judgment call but consider if your position is going to sound reasonable to a Judge. Contact an experienced Family Law attorney if you need help with matters involving discretion for a child. Hopefully, the decision you make for your child will reflect that you are dealing in good faith.

Family law cases have been filed electronically for years (efile) so cases are continuing to be filed and process servers are continuing to serve Court documents. Mediations, Arbitrations and Depositions are conducted using Zoom (check Zoom.us). A divorce can be finalized by filing a Declaration, in lieu of appearing in person, and a Decree of Divorce with the Court and obtaining the Judge’s signature.

Consider using Alternative Dispute Resolution. Due to the limitations and backlog in the dockets, many parties are turning to mediation, collaborative law and arbitration, all of which are well suited for virtual meetings using Zoom. These methods can be an excellent, efficient and cost effective way to move your case forward. I have done several mediations using Zoom and the cases were successfully settled.

Take time to reflect on the good that has come from these challenging times. Consider making personal changes going forward that make you a better person.