While Denver moves towards “reopening,” many courts continue to limit the cases that they will hear in person. What does this mean for you and your divorce? Fortunately, as attorneys who have put ourselves at the forefront of technological advances in the legal profession, we can keep your case moving forward, even if you cannot walk through the courthouse doors.
We are prepared to handle your case virtually, if necessary, from start to finish. At GEM Family Law, you can have your free initial consultation by phone or through a variety of digital platforms, including Google Hangouts or Zoom, so that you can interact with your potential attorney face to face.
We also have secure cloud-based methods of exchanging sensitive information. While traditionally, documents requiring your signature would need to be signed in person, with the changes in notary rules and with the availability of Docusign, we can exchange information, negotiate deals, and circulate documents for signature all digitally. Most pleadings can then be filed electronically with the court.
When starting a divorce case, the Court sets an Initial Status Conference (or ISC). At the ISC, the parties appear in court with their attorneys in order to discuss the issues in the case, whether certain hearings are necessary, and if and what type of experts will be needed. While many Courts are not open to the public and will remain closed absent emergency issues for some time, most Courts in the Denver Metro Area continue move cases forward by allowing everyone to appear either by telephone or video for initial status conferences.
As part of your divorce case, you will need to complete financial disclosures that outline your income, assets, debts, and other financial matters. By using secure document exchange platforms, we can help you complete your financial disclosures entirely remotely. The professionals at GEM Family Law have tools to assist you convert your paper documents into electronic PDFs directly from your phone or tablet. Once completed, we make sure that your deadlines are met by using a secure document transfer service to send your documents to opposing counsel, keeping your case in good shape and your information is protected.
Once financial disclosures have been completed and exchanged electronically, many cases become ripe for settlement. Using your disclosures and the disclosures from an opposing party, your counsel can run a variety of spreadsheets to help you consider how a settlement could look. Thanks to technology, even before the current health crisis, negotiations often happen almost in their entirety from the comfort of your own home.
Should you reach an agreement that is then reduced into writing and electronically filed with the Court, if both you and your former spouse are represented by attorneys, then you can file a document that allows the court to finalize your divorce without ever setting foot in a courtroom.
While some. cases require hearings to resolve major issues, the majority of cases can be resolved without a hearing. Parties often find mediation or settlement conferences to be helpful in coming to agreements that resolve all of the issues in a case. Typically, mediation occurs in an office space with the parties in separate rooms while a mediator goes back and forth from room to room. Many mediators are now offering virtual mediations where the parties are in separate virtual rooms.
Even if your case cannot be resolved in mediation or through a virtual settlement conference, some Courts in the Denver Metro Area are continuing to offer virtual hearings where the parties and their counsel can appear by phone, WebEx, or Zoom.
At GEM Family Law, we have always believed in providing clients access to resources that give them ready access to our team. The technology that we have in place enables us to ensure you continue obtaining high-quality representation and fair results. If you have any questions about your options and how we can help you get your case started, please reach out to our office at (303) 317-3239 to schedule a free initial consultation today.
Authored by: Anthony Zarsky, Associate Attorney