The Art of Moving Forward in the Midst of Social Distancing
How do we address family law issues while living in this world of “social distancing” and closed courthouses? We are increasingly using the often-overlooked tools of Alternative Dispute Resolution services (ADR), such as Mediation and Collaborative Law. This past month, people of all ages have become skilled in using technologies like Zoom, Face-Time and other video conferencing programs. Thankfully, these technologies have enabled us to continue working with clients and other professionals to reach solutions and agreements.
Mediation enables parties to work with a neutral mediator to identify and help resolve issues such as parenting time or financial support, on a temporary basis. This temporary solution can help address the immediate problems and reduce some of the stress people are currently experiencing. Mediation sessions can be done by telephone or video conferencing.
For those of you who have heard “horror” stories from friends and relatives about their divorce and court experiences, Collaborative Law offers you an alternative process that results in final agreements. This process is another ADR tool that results in solutions and executed agreements between the parties. During this process, you each will have your own collaboratively trained attorney. A professional team, which includes you, helps identify and develop solutions related to your marriage, finances and your children. The process is quicker than going through the courts and most importantly to many families, is private. Court hearings and regular court appearances are avoided saving you valuable time, money and stress. The solutions developed are more uniquely tailored to the needs of your family. You have control over the process and the timeline. You get into the process, make decisions, reach and execute agreements, which are then presented to the court for entry. We have used this process successfully before the COVID-19; with courts being closed, it is even more applicable now.
Collaborative Law and Mediation are powerful processes that many couples find to be valuable in resolving family issues, including divorce and post-divorce issues. The COVID-19 crisis has not, and should not, freeze us in our tracks. Here at Sefton Kelly Family Law, we are just moving forward in a different, safer way. Reach out and talk to a member of our team if you have any questions about any of these processes and how we might help.
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