By now everyone is aware that COVID-19 is a major disruption on all aspects of life. Effective March 30, 2020, at 5 pm, the state of North Carolina is under a Stay at Home Order. What does this mean for folks in the middle of a separation?
On March 13, 2020, the North Carolina Supreme Court’s Chief Justice, Cheri Beasley, directed local courts to postpone most cases in district and superior court, including family law cases, for at least 30 days effective March 16, 2020. With the directives issued from Chief Justice Beasley, as well as local and state authorities, many law firms, including Parker Bryan Family Law, have limited physical access to their offices to protect the health and safety of their employees and clients. This does not mean Parker Bryan Family Law will stop serving its clients. Our dedicated team continues to serve our clients by working remotely from home via phone, email and videoconference. Today’s technology allows us to continue to meet face-to-face with clients from the comfort of their own homes.
While court hearings and other court business are essentially at a stand-still, there are other options to move your case along. One of the options to consider during this difficult time is virtual mediation. Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution technique that gives parties the opportunity for input and decision-making in the resolution of their own marital issues such as custody, support and property division related to a divorce. There are a variety of digital platforms (including Zoom, Webex and GoToMeeting) that allow parties to work with their attorneys and a mediator to conduct virtual mediations to resolve issues that cannot be addressed currently through the court process. With the proper technology, virtual mediation is a viable option that allows issues normally addressed by the court to be addressed sooner and in a more cost-efficient manner.
Parker Bryan Family Law attorneys have scheduled and are already conducting virtual mediations. In the face of such uncertain times, virtual mediation can be a light in the darkness to help folks move their family law cases along to resolution. Our team at Parker Bryan Family Law has the tools and resources to utilize virtual mediation, among other options, to continue to serve our clients by whatever means necessary.