The world is changing and we couldn’t be more grateful for technology and the internet! Our sincere thanks go out to the amazing app developers and entrepreneurs. Your brains and creativity have allowed us to continue to assist families in these uncertain times. We would even say that Covid-19 has caused Family Law to finally catch up with the 21st century!
In this post we seek to highlight how Family Law has evolved as a result of Covid.
How our firm has evolved
Well… it hasn’t needed to, really! From the beginning, Martens Legal has been ahead of the game.
Here are a few things we have always implemented that are helping us to thrive during this time
– Managing files electronically. This means we can carry out work efficiently and in a cost-effective way for our clients.
– We care about our home – planet Earth. Martens Legal is almost completely paperless and we do what we can to protect the environment.
– A positive lifestyle is one of our important values, so working from home has always been a regular thing for all employees. This means we already have access to all of the programs necessary to enable video conferencing, team e-meetings and catch ups. The firm also promotes a balanced work environment and places emphasis on mindset (we believe it’s the key to success). This includes things like encouraging breaks, team catch ups over video, and enforcing tools-down time unless there is something urgent that needs to be actioned. We believe mindset is key to getting through this in one piece!
Putting these solutions in place early-on, meant an easy transition when the restrictions were put in place.
The only changes we’ve made (simply due to the restrictions – but which are working so well we may continue with) are:
– Meetings via video conference. Our clients don’t have to download any programs – we simply email a link and we’re good to go!
– Signing documents electronically rather than meeting in person. A lot of our forms have been set up so that you can sign them electronically from your computer or smart phone.
Can your Family Law matter still be resolved?
Of course, it can! If you’ve reached an agreement with your ex, then resolving your matter remotely is much the same as before Covid.
Communications can be done over the phone, via video conference, or by email – whatever you prefer. If you are able to reach an agreement, we can formalise that agreement in Consent Orders which can be signed electronically and filed with the Court online! This is the quickest and most cost-effective way to resolve your family law matter.
If it’s not possible to resolve your matter through negotiation, don’t fret. Mediations are still going ahead via apps like Zoom and Microsoft Teams. Certain tools built into these apps allow the mediator to separate the parties from one another. Feedback on online Mediations has been great. The key is to find a mediator that is the right fit for the both of you.
For matters that need to go to Court, new practices have been implemented to keep the community safe from the spread of Covid. Though in-person attendance at Court has been restricted, matters are still progressing via telephone and video conference. Parenting matters will always take priority which means that there is now even more incentive to resolve property matters via negotiation, mediation or arbitration and, if possible, without needing the assistance of the Court.
More than ever, getting advice early on and from an experienced family lawyer is key to resolving your family law matter. Be sure to choose a lawyer who understands what it is that you need and one that can assist you to achieve your goals (without it costing you and arm and a leg!). That is what we always aim to accomplish when assisting our clients.
To stay up-to-date on any changes in the Courts, click here.
Having these crazy (but necessary) changes and restrictions in place has meant that the family law world has had to act fast and catch up with the online world.
Fortunately for Martens Legal, we have always tried to be forward-thinking, so adapting to these changes has not been a challenge. Having efficient processes in place means we can provide our clients with a high quality and cost-effective service and we will continue to do so throughout this time.
Would You Like Further Information?
To learn more about how Martens Legal can assist you, please feel free to give us a call or book an appointment online.
By Julia West, Associate Family Lawyer
The information contained on this site is for general guidance only. No person should act or refrain from acting on the basis of such information. You should seek appropriate professional advice based on your particular circumstances.