Yes, it the midst of all that is COVID-19, you can still get divorced. However, it will definitely help if you are technologically savvy and so is your lawyer.
What are we NOT doing right now?
- We are not hosting in-person consultations
- We are not hosting in-person paperwork reviews and/or signings
- We cannot physically go to mediation
- We cannot physically go to the courthouse to finalize your divorce
What are we doing?
- We are using Zoom and Skype to meet with clients and meet with the Court. I’ve used Skype for over 10 years and Zoom since 2017. This is not new technology for us. We are ready, willing, and able to connect with clients.
- We use Adobe Acrobat to assist clients in electronically signing documents. We can also modify documents with clients on the phone. We are ready and experienced to do this.
- We are still available by phone or email to answer your questions. You would hardly even know that we are working remote.
How is it business as usual? Here is how our process works at Feher Law during COVID-19:
- Consultations – Contact our office to schedule a consultation at 727-359-0367, just as you normally would. During your telephone or Zoom consultation, we will discuss the steps of the process and answer your questions, just as if you were in the office.
- Paperwork reviews – We will schedule another telephone or Zoom meeting to review your prepared paperwork with you. As long as you have a computer screen to review them, you will not even have to print any papers out.
- Paperwork signings – After any and all revisions are completed, send us your written confirmation that the documents are correct and we will send them to you for your electronic signature. Adobe Acrobat or a similar product should allow you to electronically sign the paperwork.
- Mediation – After your spouse is served and responds to our paperwork, we will work on scheduling a mediation. Mediators have also turned virtual. They are hosting online sessions through Zoom or similar programs where we would be in one virtual room and your spouse and their attorney would be in another virtual room. The lawyers and the mediator can also go into a 3rd virtual room to discuss additional issues, procedural concerns, etc.
- Finalizing your divorce – Courts are trying to adapt as quickly as possible. Many courts are also scheduling Zoom hearings where they can see the parties and ask questions. In cases where courts are not using Zoom hearings, a telephonic hearing can also take place. Courts will rely on the attorneys to confirm client’s identities, provide copies of driver’s licenses to the court, etc.
The surprising thing is that the person who has the largest change here is the person seeking a divorce. Courts have allowed telephonic proceedings previously and many lawyers are familiar with the ins and outs of court technology, electronic filing, and electronic signatures. If you are looking to get divorced during COVID-19, find a lawyer who is technologically up to the task.