The catastrophic Covid-19 pandemic, and resulting shutdown, have had lasting and unexpected results.
After 48 years of aggressive and zealous litigation of divorce cases, in 2020, I was first confronted with remote depositions. That then led to remote brief hearings, such as Trial Setting Conferences, Mandatory Settlement Conferences, and Law & Motion Hearings.
Predictably, these virtual “proceedings” were the precursor to virtual trials. In 2021, I litigated a high asset divorce case with multiple forensic Certified Public Accountants, and thousands of pages of financial records over a period of 18 days. We had no in-person court days of litigation. So, why should this experience end?
We, as a society, have become very comfortable with virtual banking, filing of our tax returns, payment of bills, and other aspects of our lives. During the pandemic, we even became comfortable with the concept of telemedicine, where we can get medical advice from the comfort of our living room on our laptop computers and smartphones. So, why not expand this concept to getting a divorce?
Litigating a divorce case is expensive, both financially and emotionally. But is there a way to mitigate both expenses? Yes. Unlike the public court system, private hearing officers and mediators can create an environment that is efficient, time-sensitive, and safe. I recall the days when my bank was open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Today, not only are banks open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., but also on Saturdays. Even more significantly, most of our banking can be done online anyway! The question, then, is how can we apply this thinking to the divorce process?
Parties and counsel can agree to hours that avoid absence from employment, interruption of the operation of a business, and even childcare problems. Why not have hearings in the evening, or even on weekends?
The Superior Court system has been dramatically impacted by the effect of the pandemic and shutdown. Many of the experienced Orange County Superior Court Bench officers have retired. As the result, counsel and parties are experiencing in excess of 12 months of delays in getting cases adjudicated. As Martin Luther King observed, “Justice delayed is justice denied.” Parties suffer emotionally and financially from the long delays in concluding their divorces.
Eliminating Emotional Trauma
Many parties fear having to face their soon-to-be ex-spouse in the Court House. Even worse, some litigants are the victims of spousal domestic violence. These situations can be entirely avoided by virtual appearances.
Get Real Help for Your Virtual Divorce
So, what is the solution to these problems? Implement virtual remote alternative dispute procedures. Engage Sullivan Law & Associate to mediate the case or engage our firm to act as a special master or private hearing officer to adjudicate single issues, or the entire matter.
Why Sullivan Law & Associates? Attorney David E. Wald, after a successful 48-year career of litigating divorce cases has transitioned to being “of counsel” to specifically and solely act as mediator, Special Master and private hearing officer.
Mr. Wald has successfully concluded in excess of 50 Special Master references 20 mediations, all involving complex family law matters. Resolve your divorce sooner than later, with less emotionality not more, and rather than the inconvenience of facing your ex-spouse in a court of law, sit comfortably, safely, and conveniently – and yes, in your bunny slippers – at your kitchen table.
For more information about how can help, contact us online and request a consultation.