The new, novel coronavirus has changed our world in some significant ways lately, leaving many professionals including divorce lawyers in search of new, novel ways to serve their clients.
Divorce mediation has always been a preferred negotiation method used by lawyers to help their clients avoid having to take their divorce to the courtroom.
Now in this period of social distancing and forced business closures, it’s an even more valuable tool!
COVID-19 Shutdowns Causing Massive Court Delays
Considering the fact that courtrooms in the U.S. get backlogged even in the best of times, the COVID-19 shutdowns have increased that backlog exponentially.
With no idea of when the courts will reopen, it’s left divorce attorneys and all other attorneys with two choices:
- Wait until it’s all over and cases can be rescheduled.
- Find an alternative means of getting legal work done.
Because not all legal cases can be progressed outside of a courtroom, the use of mediation and arbitration can be used to advance some divorce cases forward.
Mediation Preferred Over Going to Court
Divorce mediation is nothing new and actually recommended by many lawyers as a preferred method for settling differences during a divorce.
Through mediation and arbitration, it’s possible for spouses to work with skilled mediators to negotiate differences and reach agreements necessary to draft a final divorce decree for approval by a judge.
These methods keep everybody out of the courtroom, is faster, and is usually less stressful.
Mediation’s Role In Progressing Cases During COVID-19
With courtrooms closed down, many divorce attorneys are turning to alternative methods of meeting with clients such as through video chat and online conferencing when possible.
Because mediation happens outside of the courtroom anyway, it’s one of a few legal proceedings that can happen online as well.
Given the option to use mediation to continue the caseload, it’s a favorable method to keep divorce cases moving along and avoiding the backlog of cases that will eventually get scheduled once the shutdowns have been discontinued.
Those willing to use mediation will get their divorces handled in a more timely manner under the circumstances.
Avoid the Wait - Arrange Mediation With A Divorce Attorney!
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected us all in different ways.
Due to the many business shutdowns we are all dealing with, divorce attorneys are getting creative in processing their cases and helping clients get resolution sooner, rather than later.
Divorce mediation via videoconference has become a preferred method for attorneys, mediators, and clients to keep in contact and negotiate important issues so divorces can be finalized without the wait.
Anyone in the midst of a divorce that’s been delayed due to COVID-19-related courtroom delays should talk to their lawyer about virtual mediation and how it might help.
Schreier & Housewirth Family Law
1329 College Avenue, Suite 100
Fort Worth TX 76104
Gregory L. Housewirth is a Board-Certified Family Law Specialist practicing in Fort Worth, Texas. With 30 years of family law experience, Mr. Housewirth has represented hundreds of clients in divorce, custody, CPS, modification, and grandparent cases. In addition, Mr. Housewirth is a qualified family law mediator and a member of Collaborative Law Texas, a practice group dedicated to promoting collaborative divorce in Texas.