What options are there?
Parties with a family law dispute can consider either mediation or collaborative family law at this time. Mediation involves disputing parties working with a trained neutral, who will help them reach an agreement on family law issues. Collaborative family law is a process in which parties who want to come to an amicable resolution to the termination of their marriage can work with trained professionals to resolve the many issues at stake in a family law matter.
How Would It Work?
Rather than appearing in court, ADR offers virtual alternatives. The meetings of the parties and professionals can happen via video conference or telephone. As a result, the pandemic doesn't represent a significant disruption in the process. Mediation and collaborative law require that the parties come together. Committing to be present and available for virtual meetings also has the benefit of taking less time of your day as there is no commute.
COVID-19 NOTICE: In an abundance of caution, our firm is fully operational but we are limiting outside visitors to our office at this time. Attorneys and staff may be working remotely, but continue to be active on all current and new client matters. Please call or email the office as you normally would for assistance. We are also available for virtual meetings via zoom. Our primary goal is to continue to provide excellent services while also doing our best to ensure the health and safety of our staff and clients. We greatly appreciate your understanding and flexibility during this time.
ADR for Family Matters During the Pandemic
The COVID-19 crisis has interrupted life as we know it, and it has impacted how the Virginia courts are operating. While each county has different orders, most "non-essential" matters have been "continued" (i.e. postponed), in some cases until June, and in others, indefinitely. Among the matters impacted by these orders are ordinary family law trials. Similarly, custodial disputes are on hold. Quite simply, it is too risky to have hearings and trials at this time. Unfortunately, this has placed couples, particularly parents, in untenable positions. Questions of visitation, support, and asset division are vitally important to the people disagreeing over these issues, but the courts aren't available to resolve matters. Now more than ever, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is a useful way to manage family law matters.
Law Office of Elizabeth Pendzich, PC
17A Royal Street, SE, Leesburg, VA 20175
Fax: (703) 669-2000