How COVID-19 Has Changed The Mediation And The Divorce Process
The process of divorce is not an easy one, and there is nothing that lawyers can do to make people going through it think otherwise. Additionally, most of the courthouses are not operating at full capacity, in light of the pandemic, so it makes sense for people to mediate these issues without taking them to court. As a team, we encourage our clients to utilize the mediation process and handle it effectively, making sure all parties benefit from it. There were a lot of changes to the way we were working during the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic, and we had to learn to adapt to the new normal.
Most of the proceedings and conversations we handle as mediators have always been in person. While this was not a challenge in the past, everything considered, it is not the smartest idea moving forward since interactions increase the chances of people getting infected with the virus. Consults to determine whether people wanted to hire us as mediators, as well as the mediation itself, were typically in person.
Since we cannot stop working indefinitely, leaving people in limbo when they want to move forward with their divorce, we continue to mediate divorces by Zoom. Overall, business is somewhat slower than usual with people worrying about whether they might lose their jobs, suffer pay-cuts, home-school their children, or have other stresses during this uncertain time. It is difficult to mediate a divorce when you are living with the person you would like to divorce due to financial uncertainty.
For the most part, we have stopped meeting in person and hold our meetings by Zoom. We consult with our clients online through Zoom or over the phone, but people are more hesitant to book mediation once they have had a consult with us.
In terms of our jobs, working online and through Zoom, for the most part, this is not creating an inconvenience, and we are getting comfortable working in this format. We handle a lot more of our meetings through Zoom than in person. Another change that we are working on is getting everything we can to be done remotely. We make it a point not to go to the office and, whenever possible, handle all our tasks remotely. We are putting off meeting people for as long as possible until the Coronavirus pandemic gets under control.
We meet and work with most of our clients through Zoom. While the process might be challenging for some, most of them have adapted to the change and are quite comfortable with it. Furthermore, for the clients who cannot get used to Zoom, we work around it and coordinate using regular calls. There are exceptions to every rule, and we are comfortable working around them to assist our clients in any way possible.