We are in strange times. COVID-19 has generally caused a mass freak-out – some of it justified. There has been a huge coronavirus impact on family law. COVID-19 during divorce brings its own set of difficult challenges for lawyers and clients. With states all over the US shutting and reopening again, it can be hard to keep track of what you are able to do and where you can visit in terms of legal support. By asking the constant “when will states reopen” question to yourself, you are at risk of letting your case become stressful. Taking advice from your legal support and sitting tight is the best way to deal with legal issues during the pandemic.

There is a rumor that the courts in San Diego will close soon. We are being asked to restrict our interactions with social distancing and to work from home if possible. But what if you have family law cases that simply need to move forward but want to minimize the impact of coronavirus pandemic on your case? We have some ideas about getting your case done during this challenging coronavirus crisis.

You don’t have to go to the courthouse during the coronavirus pandemic.

I was just at the courthouse in Vista this morning. For some reason, social distancing in family court feels natural. I think it’s just because Family Court is generally depressing anyway. I saw many attorneys and parties trying hard to maintain space between themselves and others, as well as wearing a fabric face mask. A commissioner came out at one point this morning and admonished folks in a line to stay at least six feet apart. I saw one attorney repeating “social distancing” under his breath as he walked the hallways. Those working at a desk had countertop shields, presumerably from Versare or somewhere similar, to protect them from others. It was all very strange.

Family court wasn’t pleasant before. Add a COVID-19 pandemic to the mix and it is unbearable.

Fortunately, there are options available to avoid the courthouse petri dish. Your case doesn’t need to stop moving forward just because the court isn’t available. Now we learn this evening that the courts will be closed at least until April 3, 2020.

In-Person Mediation

In-person mediation offers a safe and comfortable environment to resolve disputes. Come to the Weber Dispute Resolution conference room instead of the courthouse lobby and get your case settled.

In-person Mediation affords the following benefits:

  • While not complete isolation, it is certainly easier to practice social distancing and hand washing in a small meeting at a mediator’s office than it is at the courthouse.
  • At Weber Dispute Resolution, we have space to spread out and hand sanitizer to spare.
  • We wipe down everything several times a day.
  • You can certainly reduce infection by coming to our controlled environment instead of the public courthouse.
  • Because our calendar is not as tight as the court’s, we can resolve both permanent and temporary matters much faster than the court can even hear the issues. While the court is setting matters often months out, we can set appointments usually within two weeks.
  • We have treats.

Contact us now to schedule an online mediation at 858-410-0144.

Online Mediation

Don’t want to even come in person? Consider online mediation. At Weber Dispute Resolution, we have the technology to meet virtually on almost any issue. Video conferencing, while not as ideal as in-person communication, allows for consideration of any issue while completely eliminating in-person contact. They may have enforced a live video streaming set-up for everyone involved to help make it easier and inclusive, especially if many are involved.

Video conferencing offers the following advantages:

  • Break-out rooms available through the video conference application
  • Text message capabilities during the session to send messages to the mediator or participants during the session
  • Screen sharing to allow for joint review of documents, agreements or notes during the session
  • Flexibility
  • No travel costs
  • Mediate from home without the formality of in-person meetings
  • You can’t catch coronavirus through a modem

We realize that this is a frightening time. However, the need to adapt to reduce spread of infection does not need to stop us from helping people.

Contact us now to schedule an online mediation at 858-410-0144.

Get more information:

San Diego Superior Court COVID-19 Information

CDC Information on Coronavirus Disease

Neutral Private Settlement Conference

Neutral Private Settlement Conference Rate Sheet