The short answer is yes. Like a weird science fiction movie, this virus is changing things daily and affecting all the things in a way none of us could have predicted. Widespread closures have affected our court system as well as impacted our economy. But while Court is closed (at least in St. Tammany Parish) for the next few weeks, most attorneys are still working. Your case can still move forward safely and from home.
If you are working with me, you know that we are already set up to handle most of our cases remotely. We can do consults, mediations, complete and file paperwork and pleadings online and continue negotiations without your physical presence. I quickly respond by phone or email to your questions and have been doing my best to keep my clients up to date on the changing system. Our goal has always been to keep you out of Court and do everything in our power to facilitate negotiations and keep you and your ex working together to get through the divorce transition as practically and painlessly as possible.
The goal of collaborative divorce makes more sense than ever. There are bound to be significant delays in hearings and trials as a result of these closures and an overload on the court system for the forseeable future. This means it is important to continue to work together to reach agreement and move your case forward. For those clients unable to resolve differences, it may make sense to try mediation (widely available online) to resolve issues, instead of waiting for a distant court date.
For the next few weeks, I will be doing my best to answer questions about how the shutdowns will affect different aspects of your divorce. This is a strange time to be practicing law and I know this worldwide crisis makes divorce even more stressful. I will try and be available and find the answers to your questions as best I can. I’ll be with you every step of the way as we navigate this new normal together.