Divorce Options During A Pandemic: What You Need To Know

Posted on: 17 November 2020

With the world battling a pandemic, many court proceedings are either delayed, canceled, or handled virtually when possible. Divorce is handled differently based on different states and regions and based on the impact of the virus in the area. If you live in an area that is shut down due to the pandemic and you need to get a divorce, there are some options you may want to explore, including the following:

Consider Negotiating Your Divorce Yourselves

Depending on the nature of your relationship with your spouse, you may be able to negotiate your own divorce settlement. Ideally, you should both consult respective attorneys as you negotiate for guidance. You may even want to use your attorneys to pass information and questions to each other if you prefer to not negotiate in person. Your attorneys will be able to judge if this option is working for you both as you move through the process. If the process stalls or does not seem to be moving in a positive direction, you may be advised to go about handling your divorce in a different way.

Consider Mediation

One of the most common alternatives to a typical divorce proceeding is mediation. Mediation generally involves the two parties working together alongside their attorneys and a mediator to come to a resolution on the terms of the divorce. The mediator helps the parties work through the details and will help facilitate if there is a disagreement. The mediator does not make the decisions for you but is there to help you move the conversations along to an agreeable place.

Consider Arbitration If You Cannot Agree

If you know you and your spouse will not be able to agree to your divorce terms in mediation, an arbitration may be more acceptable. Through the arbitration process, a family law attorney acting as an arbitrator will listen to each side of the disputes at hand, similar to a judge. You will each provide your view on the issue at hand, along with evidence supporting your position. After the arbitrator has listened to both sides and reviewed the evidence, as well as consulting outside experts if necessary, he or she will declare a binding decision.

Keep in mind that all these methods do not result in a final divorce decree. You will still have to submit your divorce to the family court system for a judge to rule. However, you will have the bulk of the work done out of court, which means your divorce should occur fairly quickly once you file.

To get help handling your divorce, talk to a divorce lawyer.