Virtual Solutions for Families Amidst the Pandemic

LIFE—AND YOUR FAMILY LAW ISSUES—MUST GO ON! YOUR FAMILY LIFE SHOULDN’T BE PLACED ON HOLD BECAUSE OF A STATEWIDE SHUTDOWN, HERE’S HOW YOU CAN FACILITATE YOUR FAMILY LAW NEEDS AND MOVE FORWARD.

It’s safe to say that with the COVID-19 pandemic going on around the world— and of course here in Florida— families are living in fear. Fear, angst, anxiety, and concern— these are all normal to feel in a time like this.

On April 6, 2020, amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Florida Supreme Court issued an administrative order extending the COVID emergency order through May 29, 2020. In an effort to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, civil and jury trials are suspended, and only essential court proceedings are permitted. Despite court closures, much of the legal world still remains running through the help of technology. Apps like Zoom have allowed judges to continue conducting hearings and law firms to still perform essential tasks such as mediation.

At our law firm, Young, Berman, Karpf & Gonzalez, PA, we have implemented available technology to meet with new clients virtually and to keep existing cases progressing as best as possible under the circumstances. Our Florida Board Certified Family Law Attorneys need to remain available to assist clients during this difficult time. We are often faced with questions from potential new clients who were considering divorce, including what options exist at this time. Is it feasible to file for divorce now? If they need to wait, what planning is involved that can begin now? These must be addressed on a case-by-case basis, as well as alternatives to divorce such as post-nuptial agreements.

These tumultuous times have allowed people to become innovative and bring some positive impacts to the community. As a family law litigator, we are often asked to serve as mediator for divorce and family law disputes since we have experience in the courtroom and have insight into how cases are ultimately resolved.

To continue to facilitate mediation at this time, we also started VideoSettle.com. A one-stop-shop, this online mediation service can be used by lawyers and people from all around the world. Availability and appointments can be made directly from the website, and mediation can occur through our video service with each party and their team in different “virtual rooms” with screen sharing abilities, and even settlement agreements that can be signed digitally. With it becoming more and more difficult to get into court, we conduct these mediations even on temporary issues like financial disclosures, temporary support, timesharing with children, etc., with no time minimums and flexible mediation rates customized for the case. Online services like VideoSettle help families transition into a new stage of life in a quicker, more cost-effective manner! Judges often require family law mediation prior to litigation anyway. With the ability of divorce and family law mediation to be done online virtually alongside remote lawyers and mediators, you are able to keep your family law case moving during the COVID-19 pandemic. Almost any issue can be addressed during that mediation. What’s more, we are able to help other business owners utilize the same software setup to implement booking and video services for their own company— almost any type of business! We all should be thinking about the community and how to help others and our country recover.

If we’ve learned one thing throughout all of this, it’s that as technology progresses, we have the ability to do most things in life on a computer without leaving the comfort of our own home. With a stressful subject like divorce or family law issues, this little comfort can go a long way. It’s important to still bring some level of brightness and peace to your life even in the darkest of times.

By Brian Karpf, Esq. | Young, Berman, Karpf, & Gonzalez, PA
YBKGlaw.com | VideoSettle.com