Courts are Closed, What Do I Do Now? 

Beginning March 17th, 2020 the San Diego Family Courts are closed except for emergency issues, such as restraining orders and are planned to be closed at least through April 6th. Now, if you’re in the middle of a divorce or custody issue with your spouse or co-parent and had FCS or hearings lined up, they’ve all been rescheduled, and you may be feeling unsure as to what you should do now. Well, we understand that just because the courts close doesn’t mean that your issues go away, and at this time, they may even become more exacerbated than usual with the times we’re in. You can move your divorce to a San Diego online divorce. 

As mediators, we don’t need the courts the function, and we don’t even need to meet in person to be able to assist. We can help you divorce online in California and have things taken care of before the courts even re-open. Using mediation allows you to make the decisions that you and your spouse think are important and not wait for a judge who doesn’t know you and doesn’t know your family being the one to tell you what to do, which at this time we don’t even know when that will be. We understand that your issues are important, and waiting isn’t always possible. We also know that a lot of times, the unknown and being in the middle of the divorce can provide a lot of undue stress on you and your kids. 

Can We Complete an Online Divorce?

If you want to get a divorce online, we can help you with that. Now you might be wondering what kind of issues can be discussed in mediation and how does the mediator help us resolve these issues. So first off, almost anything that can be dealt with in court can be dealt with in mediation. The only exception being domestic violence restraining orders when the safety of a party is at risk. For example if you and your spouse where working on your financial disclosures and need to figure out how to divide your assets and your debts our mediators, who are all also Certified Divorce Financial Analysts can assist you and your spouse in completing your disclosures and figuring out how to divide the assets and debts that you have. Our mediators use beneficial financial software that allows them to help with the division portion, and both better understand the different types of assets you may own and how to divide them in a way that makes sense for both of you. We can also run child and spousal support numbers and assist with negotiating what payments would be. We understand there may be uncertainty around some jobs at this time, and we will also work with you to put together ways to revisit support in the future as things change. 

Now even if you’re already divorced or maybe never married but have children together, then your parenting plan is something that may be affected by the current times. Having your children at home 100% of the time while you may also be trying to work from home is maybe not what you and your co-parent had envisioned with your original parenting plan, and we can assist you in changing that. We know that your children are an essential part of any discussions and can make sure that you have a plan that is in their best interests and keeps both of you sane during this time.  

Now at this time, there may be many people who are moving to online mediation and divorce online that have never done it before. Still, here at West Coast Family Mediation Center, we’ve been offering online mediation for a long time. We have used it with several clients who were not physically able to come to our office or where one spouse may be in another state. So, you can rest assured that we know what we’re doing, and our office is set up to make sure that we can have you sign everything and provide all documents remotely from the safety of our homes.  

What If You Are Working On My Case Currently?

We have gotten this question from several clients, as we understand the confusion and concern when the courts close their doors. We will continue to do all we can on our end when it comes to your current divorce case. Anything that needs to be filed with the court, we will keep secure until the court system re-opens. Once we receive notification that the court is back in business, your documents will be promptly filed and/or submitted for review by the judge.  

Anything you already have at the court (i.e., petitions, judgment packets, QDROs, etc.) will all be delayed until the court re-opens. We understand this is inconvenient and may cause negative ramifications for you and your family. We assure you we are doing everything we can to move as expeditiously as possible through all of this. As you know, we have no control over the court system, and we are all in the same boat – we just have to be patient. 

We understand that there is a lot of unknown at this time, and we are really in unchartered territory, having your divorce or parenting plan be one of those unknowns can only make you more stressed out. We are here to help and make sure that we all get through this together. 

Contact West Coast Family Mediation Center for a FREE initial consultation to start your California online divorce.

by: Amanda Singer

Amanda Singer with west coast family mediation center

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