As it turns out, even a global pandemic cannot stop life events from occurring. While we continue to redefine what normal day-to-day life will look like, we cannot pause or put off important and crucial personal matters, including divorce. Between the stressors of the coronavirus pandemic, economic downturn, and shelter in place orders, this has not been the easiest year to handle already complex matters such as divorce; however, while new courtroom challenges have certainly presented themselves, options remain for individuals to resolve their divorce during COVID-19. One such option that meets today’s health and safety regulations, as well as cost concerns, is divorce mediation.
Divorce mediation is a process in which a third party, referred to as a mediator, facilitates an agreement between two spouses regarding their assets and/or other items involved in the divorce settlement. A mediated agreement does not have to cover all of the issues outstanding in your divorce. Should the parties agree on even a portion of the issues, it will still save them time and money. Divorce mediation is a cost-effective alternative for couples – and when successful, it avoids time-consuming, stressful, and expensive court appearances. It is important to note that a mediator is not a judge and therefore cannot make a court-ordered ruling during mediation. The mediator arranges an agreement between spouses that their lawyers can then present in court for judicial approval.
Divorce Mediation During COVID-19
The need for many meetings and hearings leading up to divorce finalization can heighten mental turmoil and stress. Mediation remains a viable option for families in transition during COVID-19 due in large part to the increased accessibility and safety of virtual mediation. Virtual mediation prevents spouses from having to travel to meet with a mediator in person. During a time when travel is restricted and uncertain, this means couples can continue with divorce proceedings by navigating around current litigation roadblocks. Virtual mediation allows for both spouses’ divorce attorneys, both spouses, and the mediator to all be simultaneously “present” while adhering to social distancing guidelines.
In order to ensure divorce mediation runs smoothly, all parties should arrange a trial run of a virtual mediation to ensure there are no connectivity issues and to gauge whether mediating online provides an environment in which they feel comfortable negotiating such serious personal issues. From there, the couple, mediator, and lawyers can utilize free or inexpensive virtual meeting platforms such as Zoom or Skype. This also avoids the cost of travel, parking, and other expenses that come with divorce-related meetings, including in-person mediation.
Brazoria County Divorce Attorneys
Couples may be hesitant to pursue virtual divorce mediation, but it is a sound – and in many cases less expensive – option for parties seeking a resolution to their marital strife. Delaying significant legal matters can add to the stress and mental turmoil brought on by the current global health pandemic. The Brazoria County divorce attorneys of Terry & Roberts are committed to serving clients and adapting to meet their needs. If you have questions regarding mediation or divorce, contact us today for more information on how we can help your family.