How Virtual Legal Help Works for Family Law

Virtual attorney typing notes for a client

The process of filing for divorce and working through family disputes in your local family law court looks a little different these days than it did several months ago.

Fortunately, COVID-19 doesn’t have to put your family law issue on hold, especially if you are seeking immediate help with restraining orders or other emergency orders for your family’s protection. Most courts are accepting digital filings of such emergent or ex parte requests. A virtual lawyer can help you navigate this “new normal” so that you can finally resolve and move on from your family law issue.

Here’s an overview of how virtual legal help works for family law matters.

Teleconferencing with a Virtual Attorney

If you need to discuss legal matters right away, a virtual lawyer can take advantage of the latest technology to hold teleconferences with you rather than meeting with you face to face. Then, from there, he or she can help you to file the necessary documents in your local court, ensuring he or she follows local procedures on how best to do so during court closures.

Courts stopped being accessible to the public during the start of the pandemic to limit people’s exposure to the coronavirus. However, courthouses still continue to accept the filings of new motions on a case-by-case (and judge-by-judge) basis, particularly where there is an emergent need. Therefore, if your virtual attorney files for you, or if he or she files for a child support or custody order on your behalf, you can expect to receive a date for your hearing. In addition, your local court may allow you to appear via a two-way virtual meeting platform at the time of your hearing.

Still, even as new cases are being filed, note that the case finalization process will likely be longer than it would have been several months ago due to the restrictions in place.

If you have an emergency divorce or child custody/support matter, your virtual lawyer could file an Order to Show Cause motion for you. In this situation, a judge would review your emergency motion, then grant you the relief you need if he or she considers this to be warranted in your case.

The Divorce Process During COVID-19

Through teleconferencing, you and your virtual lawyer can easily discuss several possible strategies for tackling your particular family law issue.

For instance, your virtual lawyer may encourage you to attempt to address your issue outside of court through a process called mediation. A mediator—a neutral third party—could hold a telephone mediation during which you and your soon-to-be-ex could discuss how to handle matters such as property division, alimony, and child custody.

In addition, your virtual lawyer could recommend remote settlement conferences for you and your future ex. During the settlement process, both of you will work toward a mutually satisfactory agreement concerning family law matters, thus avoiding court intrusion.

Divorce Trial

Unfortunately, not all divorce situations can be resolved through mediation or informal negotiations. In this situation, you may have no choice but to go to a divorce trial. However, a local judge may be able to complete the trial process via telephone or Skype during the pandemic. A qualified attorney can help you navigate this process remotely.

Keep in mind, though, that certain family law court proceedings—like custody assessments—must be performed in person. Therefore, these proceedings will likely have to be placed on hold. The good news? Even if you have to reschedule your divorce to a later date in this situation, your virtual lawyer might still be able to continue working on your court case from his or her home.

Seek the Help of a Reputable Virtual Family Law Attorney Today!

If you need help with filing for divorce or tackling a child custody issue during the Great Lockdown, I, virtual attorney Michael C. MacNeil can help.

I offer phone consultations that take into account both your legal needs and your family’s needs. In addition, I offer top-of-the-line virtual legal help aimed at helping you to effectively and efficiently address your family law issue.

A lot has changed in the world around us due to COVID-19. And even the way we move forward with your family law matter will be different due to today’s emphasis on remote services. However, many aspects of my legal services haven’t changed, like the fact that you can expect to communicate with me firsthand—there will be no assistant or receptionist between us. I will personally attend to you, ensuring that you don’t fall prey to bureaucratic tricks, like overbilling.

Contact me today to learn more about how my unparalleled services as a virtual lawyer can help you this spring.

About Michael MacNeil

Michael C. MacNeil is a San Diego Family Law and Criminal Defense attorney. With a Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Diego School of Law, MacNeil has a solid understanding of our justice system. As a member of the State Bar of California, MacNeal can practice before all courts in the state. MacNeil believes that the law should be accessible to everyone, regardless of their financial status. With over 20 years of experience, Michael C. MacNeil is passionate about the law and will work tirelessly to get the best possible outcome for you. Call Mr. MacNeil at 858-922-7098.