It seems Covid-19 has strained many marriages to breaking point. The stress of the pandemic and its associated restrictions have put even the strongest relationships to the test.
According to Legal Templates, divorce inquiries saw a 57% increase by April 13, 2020, less than three weeks into when the majority of U.S states announced official lockdowns.
While some family courts are conducting hearings through virtual platforms, they are for the most part unable to address non-emergent conflicts. This could spell bad news for couples unwilling to spend the rest of quarantine locked up under the same roof.
That is why many divorcing individuals are choosing virtual divorce mediation to iron out their problems. For virtual divorce mediation cases in St. Louis, you and your St. Louis divorce mediation lawyer can work with your spouse and their divorce attorney to select a neutral facilitator. This mutually selected third party can help you reach an agreeable settlement online.
Let us take a look at the basics of virtual divorce mediation and how you can work with a certified St. Louis divorce mediation lawyer to benefit from it amidst the ongoing health crisis.
1. Why Choose Divorce Mediation in St. Louis?
Couples willing to avoid the lengthy process of divorce litigation usually opt for mediation. It helps them discuss complex issues, such as equitable distribution, child support, and parenting plans, without partaking in a time-consuming and discordant courtroom battle.
Furthermore, mediation enables both parties to discuss their troubles confidentially. This is especially important if you have children and will be interacting with your ex-spouse even after the divorce. You probably would not want your impressionable child to witness the hostility between their parents.
A St. Louis divorce mediation lawyer can assist you in negotiating a satisfactory resolution. Your divorce attorney will help maintain communication, formulate ideas, and keep you on track during the mediation process.
2. What Is Virtual Divorce Mediation?
With court closures and social distancing measures coming into play, divorce mediation has also taken a virtual route. Virtual discussions have replaced face-to-face sessions, with the concerned parties, their divorce attorneys, and the mediator often connecting over conference calls or online platforms.
Virtual platforms allow for a more flexible and efficient way for spouses to negotiate the terms of their settlement. Moreover, it optimizes convenience while reducing expenses and tension. You can essentially get your marriage dissolved without stepping outside your home or dealing with your partner in person.
3. How Does Virtual Divorce Mediation Work?
All individuals, including the spouses, the divorce mediation attorneys, and other relevant parties consult each other to decide upon a time that works best for everyone. An appointment is scheduled accordingly. The sessions are conducted over conference calls or online video conferencing platforms like Zoom or Skype.
If you are living in St. Louis, your St. Louis divorce mediation lawyer will help initiate the negotiations and ensure that your terms are adequately represented. After the conditions are accepted, the disputing parties will sign an appropriately drafted document, which is then distributed over electronic media.
Virtual sessions do not require you to travel anywhere. You can attend the session from the comfort of your own home. Plus, you will not have to fight traffic, reach the meeting place, and wait around for everyone else to arrive. This can help save a lot of time and travel costs.
4. Why Is Virtual Divorce Mediation Appropriate For the Current Times?
Given the ongoing global health crisis, there are various merits to virtual sessions. Here are a few reasons why divorcing couples in the St. Louis area are currently favoring virtual divorce mediation sessions with their respective St. Louis divorce mediation lawyer and a mediator.
Although dissolving a marriage is sometimes necessary, it can also be quite expensive. Covid-19 has had a grave impact on the global economy. Many people have lost their means of livelihood and are facing financial difficulties.
Mediation has always been a more cost-effective alternative to traditional litigation. A St. Louis divorce mediation lawyer typically charges by the hour, which means that the cumulative costs are usually much lower than courtroom litigation.
Now, virtual mediation can help lower the expenses even further. Since you can attend the sessions from your home or workplace, you will not have to pay for parking, take time off work, or hire a babysitter for the kids.
- Comfortable and Safe Setting
In case you and your partner are going through a rough divorce, you may find it unsettling to see them in person. This can interfere with your ability to express yourself adequately.
Plus, if there are increased chances of heated arguments breaking out between you and your spouse, it will only perpetuate the negotiation. For example, couples with children often engage in bitter debates over custody, which ultimately leads to unsolicited delays.
In a virtual divorce mediation session, you can keep your distance from your spouse and discuss your issues much more comfortably without fear or hesitation.
- Fewer Health Risks
As mentioned above, you can attend a virtual divorce mediation session from the comfort of your room. This is especially significant considering the ongoing crisis, wherein healthcare professionals are encouraging individuals to stay indoors and help “flatten the curve.”
While certain court procedures require physical interaction, virtual divorce mediation sessions do not. You, your spouse, the mediator, and your St. Louis divorce mediation lawyer can connect online, which reduces the risk of transmission.
Whether you choose to battle in court or separate peacefully, a divorce is never easy. However, you and your spouse should be aware of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods suited to your needs. The ongoing pandemic demands social distancing as a safety measure, making virtual divorce mediation the best ADR option for spouses seeking quick separation. The best part is that it offers all the advantages of conventional divorce mediation, with a few extra benefits.
Chat with an Expert St. Louis Divorce Mediation Lawyer Today!
Do you have queries about your divorce? Discuss them with our experienced St. Louis Divorce Mediation lawyer Jennifer Rench today. You can call at (314) 725-4000 or reach out to us through our website to schedule a free consultation.