As the country emerges from the pandemic, the path back to a semblance of normalcy will likely include innovations incorporated into our daily lives that previously slowed the spread of COVID-19. One in particular involved Zoom and other types of technology that allowed meetings to continue on a virtual level. Those once resistant to the screen-to-screen dynamic now embrace it, increasing the likelihood of a more convenient way of communication as a valid option.
When it comes to family law matters, face-to-face interactions were always the default. Having parties involved in a divorce dispute in one room is believed by many to be the most effective way to find common ground towards a settlement. A worldwide health crisis took that option away, albeit temporarily.
Virtual options and benefits
Online divorce resolution (ODR) has been around for a long time, starting in the 1990s. Over the years, this form of divorce resolution has grown in sophistication, effectiveness, and, of equal importance, accessibility. Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and other online platforms help to deliver not only open lines of communication but also attached forms and programs to enhance and expedite the process.
Perhaps most importantly, it can speed up a process and allow divorcing couples to bring their issues to a resolution and move on to the next chapters of their lives, saving both time and money.
Walking into a crowded room feeling anxiety is not a good starting point for one or both sides when it comes to emotionally-charged family law mediation. Ending coronavirus restrictions does not end the fear of gathering in a small room with multiple people. Instead, it impairs sound decision making with one side being more unreasonable or simply “giving in” to escape the closed confines.
Online divorce resolution from remote locations where everyone feels safe may indeed represent a “new normal” in family law.