Although the COVID-19 crisis is making many of us feel like life is on pause, the fact is we must still find ways to move forward. If you and your spouse are getting a divorce, this pandemic is likely throwing a wrench in the process, but it does not mean you cannot make it happen. Alternative dispute resolution options, such as mediation, are not only less combative than the litigation process, but may also be the only immediate options available for divorcing spouses. At Heidi D. Collier, APLC, we can guide you through the mediation process and help you peacefully end your marriage during these trying times.
Is It Private?
One of the benefits of divorce mediation is that it allows spouses to keep the details of their divorce private and confidential, whereas divorce litigation does not afford couples this same level of privacy. If you are considering the prospect of conducting mediation sessions through Zoom, you may be wondering if it is a secure enough platform. Although there were reports of individuals interrupting Zoom meetings with inappropriate material, these flaws were quickly addressed by Zoom, allowing hosts to create secure sessions that require passwords. Three-way telephone calls are another common and private way to conduct a mediation conference. The mediator initiates the call and joins both parties to the confidential session.
How Can I Make the Agreement Legally Binding?
As unorthodox as it may seem, you can still finalize your divorce through mediation without meeting in-person. All the judgment paperwork will be drafted by the mediator, and the parties will be able to review and sign using DocuSign, or by scanning and emailing. If you are not comfortable with the idea of drafting and signing these agreements electronically, we will create a written judgment package for both parties to review. Once signed, the documents will be sent to the Court for processing, and we will send you your divorce judgment once it is back from the Court. Neither you nor your spouse need to set foot in a Courthouse.
If I Decide to Participate in Mediation, do I Need an Attorney?
Most mediators, including myself, advise the parties in mediation of the fact that the mediator does not represent either one of them. As a mediator, my job is to give the couple ideas on the best ways to settle their case based not only on my knowledge of the law, but also my experience in drafting creative settlement agreements and knowing what the Judge is likely to order if the case litigated. Even when parties already have attorneys, they sometimes work with a mutually agreeable, neutral, mediator with expertise in bringing couples together to resolve their case and avoid a court battle.
Reach Out to Our Compassionate Mediation Team!
COVID-19 is making many of our lives difficult in unimaginable ways, but you can still rely on the team at Heidi D. Collier, APLC for the guidance you need.
Contact our law office today at (760) 993-3770 to learn more about how we can help you dissolve your marriage during this global pandemic.