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Limited access means slower divorce proceedings

Everyone is adapting, between wearing masks, working remotely and even distancing from friends and family. We are all doing our part in order to adjust to the new standard of living. But what happens the new standard is affecting our marriage?

According to the New York Times, most legal professionals expect astronomical increases in the divorce rate, which is challenging due to the limited access in most state courts. For example, Massachusetts courts are only open for emergency matters, Monday through Friday.

The restricted time slots make divorce proceedings slower than usual – effectively putting couples through more heartache and money. However, there are ways to accelerate the process and move towards a better future for you and your former partner.

Alternative dispute resolution

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is an umbrella term for alternative methods to resolve conflicts outside of court. They are still active throughout the current crisis and easily accessible for separating couples.

Some methods include mediation, collaborative divorce and arbitration. Whatever option you use, it will help settle the terms and get you onto your next step. However, there is one resolution that is particularly helpful for divorcing couples.

Mediation

If you are parting ways on mutual terms, you may be able to work with attorneys through mediation, a legal agreement that is settled outside of court. Mediation is generally faster, cheaper and allows more control for the spouse. They do not have to fight each other nor the court’s opinion for property division, child custody, etc.

However, the only disadvantage to mediation is you must be able to collaborate with your former significant other. If you can’t come to an agreement, you will have to go through a trial process later.

The best part of alternative dispute resolutions is that your lawyer can work without involving the court through every step of the process. It also may be conducted remotely, so distancing and safety stay a priorty.

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