Divorcing Virtually

May 27th, 2020 by

Many people had pending divorce cases in existence when the stay at home order went into place.  The stress of staying at home during these unique times adds a new level of issues if your divorce is pending.  For some, they reconciled.  For others, the pandemic made it worse.  But today is a new day and while most court appearances in person are not going forward, the option of a virtual divorce exists. 

From the litigant’s perspective, the experience of divorce is one of feelings. How the litigant feels depends upon their personal interpretation of what is happening in and out of court. Early on in the process, two people who are enmeshed are giving up “pieces” of themselves in order to forge a divorce settlement. It is very hard for divorcing people to see a clear picture of how their new autonomy can be gained and what it will cost psychologically. In today’s environment, these issues are even more complicated.

As if the relationships among the divorce litigant, the spouse, and the court were not difficult enough, enter the pandemic to really interfere with the process. Without the guidance of a family law attorney, a litigant’s journey through the divorce court is so hampered by the public health response to the pandemic as to make it almost impossible.

The divorce litigant is moving from a relationship of love to a relationship of insecurity. Lack of confidence is further impeded by the pandemic rules of court, which further restricts the litigant’s freedom making it even harder for the litigant to keep their goals in focus. The courts seem to be making up new rules every day. A litigant may not have access to electronic means of proceeding. It is obvious to the litigant that those people who obtain the counsel of a family law attorney have a distinct advantage now, during the pandemic, more even than before.

From the divorce litigant’s perspective, the redefining of court rules in response to the pandemic has made the process more complex, and complicated. The courthouses are closed to casual visitors, and the judges are available by electronic means only. The new litigant cannot rely upon the lessons learned from family and friends, because the old rules no longer apply. Even among courthouse personnel, a substantive understanding of the new divorce process can be lacking. Your family law attorney recognizes the value of an efficient electronic protocol, as the old protocol dials down.

The good news is that the Judges are forging ahead allowing remote prove ups to finalize divorces.  Some counties are allowing pretrials and hearing to move forward remotely.  The litigant needs to get on board and learn how to communicate in this age as the Courts are generally using Zoom technology as a means of conducting business.  Getting familiar with this technology is a reality and a necessity.

We always knew that everything is for a season. This includes connections with other humans on the earth. Every relating experience is for a season. We enjoy or endure, the season, and we move on. A family law attorney can be a valuable source of guidance that can give the divorce litigant comfort, assistance, and the necessary tools to navigate the court process during these unique times.

Written by Joan van Oss

We are here to assist you

We are aware that everyone has been affected by the recent response to COVID-19 but we hope that you find some comfort in knowing that we are still operational and here to assist you.

Whether you are a current client or if you are looking for family law or estate planning assistance, our team is here for you and will continue to be available to address your concerns.

To the extent possible, we will offer remote consultations and provide services from a distance.

You may message us here, email our office at info@sterkfamilylaw.com, or call 815-600-8950 and one of our team members will be able to assist you.

This is a legal advertisement from Sterk Family Law Group. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be construed as such. This article is for informational and educational purposes only.


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