While Pennsylvania courts have reopened since the summer shutdown, many courts are still only operating in emergency circumstances. This can cause issues for Pennsylvania couples looking to start or finalize their divorce.
This may not be ideal for them. However, there are alternatives available. In many states across the country, some courts are now allowing couples to handle divorce via skype or telephone.
Initially, many judges were skeptical of this method. But since in-person court hearings are still a public health concern, some are becoming more open to the idea, as they may be the norm for the foreseeable future.
If spouses choose to go this route, there are a few things they should keep in mind.
Things to remember during a digital divorce hearing
These are some general guidelines for a successful hearing:
- Call in at the appropriate time: Much like showing up to a standard court hearing, both spouses must call into the courtroom at the time their hearing is scheduled.
- Have a back-up device in hand: Even today, not all of our technology operates the way it’s supposed to. Whether one spouse’s battery randomly dies or their device’s Wi-Fi connection is spotty, they should have a back-up method.
- Mute the device: Having two-way communication is vital during divorce proceedings. Whether it’s a tense conflict or not, spouses should put their phones or other electronics on mute to avoid disrupting one another. That includes keeping background noises to a minimum and only speaking when asked to by a judge.
- Identify one’s self before speaking: Alongside using respectful communication, both spouses should identify who they are if they choose not to use screens.
Is a tele-divorce the right option for you?
Separating from a spouse can be an emotional and financial roller coaster, especially amid a pandemic. Luckily, there are options available for couples who wish to start or continue these proceedings.