The threat of the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way things are done. Anything that was done physically was adapted to the new normal, and everything that could go digital has – that includes the courtroom.
So naturally, a lot of people are wondering how things have changed when it comes to their divorce proceedings. But the process remains quite the same in terms of requirements. The parties still have to fill out their sworn financial statements, make their asset debt spreadsheets, exchange disclosures, talk about parenting time plans, etc. All the requirements of the process remain.
The only difference is how these processes are finalized. Because of the new regulations to help limit the spread of the virus, most of the procedures are now done virtually. Lawyer-client meetings, as well as court hearings are completed over the internet.
Virtual Court Hearings
In the age of COVID, court hearings for divorce have transitioned to a virtual set up. Every hearing is done online, including mediation proceedings. How it works is that the lawyer and their clients go online separately and enter a virtual room. The other party with his or her lawyer is in a separate room. The mediator then goes back and forth between the two rooms to discuss matters with the relevant people.
Advantage of Virtual Proceedings
Some advantages of this type of “new normal” setup are cost efficiency and comfort. The parties do not have to travel back and forth to different destinations to meet physically with the mediator and the opposing parties. They can merely do it in the comfort of their homes whenever it is convenient.
It also helps the clients save money on attorney’s fees. Some lawyers push pause on their timers when it’s not their turn to speak to the mediator. Hence, the client is not charged for that time.
Disadvantages of Virtual Proceedings
However, a virtual setting for divorce proceedings does not come without its downfalls. One of the problems involves credibility. The physical demeanor and the way a client responds to questions in front of a judge can really help determine crucial matters in a divorce case. Some of this ability to judge credibility is lost in a virtual setting.
In these trying times, everyone is trying to adapt and conform to the new normal. Although some things may be different now in terms of how divorce cases are heard, the process is still very much the same. Hiring a lawyer can help walk you through the new virtual process of your divorce case.