Resolving Family Law Matters During Covid-19

By Allison Fredrickson | Family & Divorce Law

Our Family Law team has received a lot of phone calls and emails with questions regarding how the Court is operating with the ever-changing restrictions of the COVID-19 crisis. The Courts have been corresponding regarding cancellations of upcoming hearings and mandatory Court closures as well as clarification on stay-at-home orders. So the question becomes, how do we get issues resolved in our pending divorce or custody case while there are no judges on the bench?

Mediation

Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that assists people in coming up with mutual solutions to their disagreements. It offers a quick and satisfactory resolution of issues without heading to Court. Mediation is completed with a mediator, who is a neutral third party and cannot give legal advice. However, using a mediator in the family law field can help negotiate with the parties and come up with creative solutions everyone can live with. Our office is offering video conferencing mediation services, contact us today for more information.

Arbitration

Arbitration is another form of alternative-dispute-resolution, where a decision maker is appointed on a narrow set of issues. It is similar to mediation except that parties agree to have someone make a binding decision and avoid going to Court and waiting for that process to happen. As long as the parties agree to be bound, the arbitrator will review evidence, listen to the parties respective positions and ultimately decide issues to end disputes. Parties can decide all issues in their divorce through this process, if agreed.

Parenting Consultants

Parents in Minnesota also have the option of using Parenting Consultants, who can make decisions specified by the parties regarding children and parenting time. They are also available to aid in interpreting or clarifying existing Court Orders. The parties are able to select someone they agree upon or the Court can make an appointment.

There are still many opportunities to resolve your cases with Mediators, Arbitrators or Parenting Consultants in Minnesota during this time. However, if these forms of alternative-dispute-resolutions are not an option Judges are still available to hear emergency situations.


We Can Help!

Do you have questions about this topic, or another family law issue? Call us to speak with a member of our team.

Fill out the form below, or call our Stillwater, MN office at 651-439-2878.

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