Regardless of the circumstances, divorce is difficult. It can leave you feeling emotional and off-balance for weeks, months, even years following the divorce. Finalizing a divorce does not suddenly release you from feelings of anger, confusion, or hurt, nor can it prevent depression from creeping in.
Whether you are the spouse that pushed for the divorce or the one surprised by the divorce filing, it can be a struggle to get through the divorce, then move on with your life. Every divorce is unique in some way, and this includes your own. What doesn’t change from one divorce to another is the absolute necessity of having a strong legal advocate to guide you through the process and protect your rights.
No matter how you feel today, divorce means losing someone you once loved. You should have the time and space to feel those feelings and grieve for what once was or what might have been. While you are dealing with the emotional aspect of divorce, Melissa Pearce & Associates will be ensuring your best interests are represented throughout the divorce.
Melissa and her staff are passionate about showing those facing divorce how they can change their lives through education and negotiation. Virtual divorce attorney Melissa Pearce believes that when a person is educated about how something works, there are no hindrances to the life they dream of.
Our firm is not in favor of contentious, adversarial divorce, preferring that spouses learn to find ways to meet in the middle and solve their differences. We champion children’s rights throughout the divorce, believing strongly that all parents can learn how to co-parent in healthy ways, working together for the good of the children.
Virtual divorce made its debut during the worst of Covid-19, when attending divorce hearings became more difficult. They do not have to take precious time away from work, school, or other responsibilities, rather can attend their hearing via the Internet. A virtual divorce is also useful when there is a significant physical distance between you and your spouse that prevents you both from attending court hearings in the same location.
Depositions and settlement conferences can now be conducted via video conferences, with judges, litigants, and attorneys logging on to virtual court appearances from their homes or offices. There is some controversy surrounding virtual divorce proceedings, as well as significant benefits. Those who believe virtual divorce is the way of the future point to the significant savings in cost and time for all those involved. Attorneys and their clients no longer have to stand around the courthouse for hours until their case is called. Most virtual appearances are scheduled for a specific time, with hearings generally staying within the allotted time frame. On the other side, at one time, judges would send everyone out in the hall to discuss settlement and this is not possible in a virtual divorce. And, of course, there is always the dreaded technology fail, although this is rarely a problem with today’s high-speed internet.
Because there can be literally hundreds of exhibits in a divorce trial, the electronic introduction of this evidence can be more complex in a virtual divorce. It can also be more difficult for a judge to assess the credibility of each party in the proceedings. It is fair to say that non-contested or simpler divorces lend themselves to virtual divorce much more than complex, contested divorces. To take part in a virtual divorce, you need internet access and a computer capable of streaming video. You will also need to set up an account with a video conferencing account like Skype or Zoom (your divorce attorney will tell you the specific service you need).
You will need video and mic access—which most computers and phones have now. Before you jump into the virtual divorce world, make sure you don’t wait until the first hearing to ensure your computer will work correctly and that you understand the technology. Log in early and test your device, find a quiet location, and approach the virtual hearings in the same way you would approach an in-person hearing. It is vital that you have a knowledgeable virtual divorce attorney by your side throughout the process. An online divorce lawyer from Melissa Pearce & Associates is ready to help you accomplish your virtual divorce in the easiest way possible.
At Melissa Pearce & Associates, we have implemented the most innovative ways to meet all your legal needs through various online platforms. We invested in the necessary technology and have added additional online applications to our virtual toolbox. Our entire staff is well-versed and highly skilled at navigating the applications used by the courts in surrounding counties. We work hard to ensure you are comfortable with the technology and that all your legal needs are being fully met. We can conduct your pre-engagement meeting online when necessary, and, if virtual proceedings are offered in your area, we can walk you through the process.
Using both telephone and virtual conferences, you will stay in close contact with your attorney after the Complaint for Divorce is electronically filed. The paperwork can be electronically sent to your spouse (assuming the two of you have discussed the divorce and are both in favor of the divorce and the terms). Discovery can all be done electronically, and any motion hearings or settlement hearings can be done virtually. When court appearances would normally be necessary, you will be able to attend virtually. You can avoid actual court appearances, even engaging in online mediation when necessary.
In most cases, you and your spouse can take part in the entire divorce process from anywhere in the state, without ever having to set foot in a courthouse for most counties across the state. This makes a virtual divorce so much easier than a “typical” divorce. While you could conceivably do your own virtual divorce, that is rarely ever a good idea. You need an experienced virtual divorce attorney who can explain your rights and educate you on the process. This will allow you to navigate the technology as well as your new, probably emotional, life changes. Your attorney can also aid you in finding the best virtual mediator.
You will meet virtually to discuss the basics of your divorce—what your goals are for you and any children you have, whether one party wants to remain in the marital home, what you hope to achieve as far as property division, and whether you feel you are entitled to spousal support. An attorney from Melissa Pearce & Associates will be well-versed, no matter your situation, therefore, fully able to discuss all your options. A virtual divorce is still a process. While some couples may be able to reach an agreement after one or two virtual sessions, others may take much longer. Both simple, as well as complex issues can be decided when you have a strong online divorce lawyer in your corner.
When you choose the DIY route, you will probably download all the Michigan divorce forms from the internet, fill them out and file them. Unfortunately, online documents often are not up to date, therefore, do not reflect changes made in the state regarding divorce. Further, the smallest mistake on a divorce form can leave you having to start the process from scratch. Having an experienced virtual divorce attorney filling out all the forms and setting up your virtual meetings and hearings means everything will be done promptly and professionally.
Melissa Pearce & Associates will ensure everything is properly set up, and that your virtual hearings and meetings will go off without a hitch. The court is not likely to allow you much latitude should you choose to DIY your Michigan divorce. The court will expect you to file paperwork within the deadlines, and file it properly. You will be expected to have the technology—and know how to use it—when a hearing is ordered. Having a highly skilled online divorce lawyer from Melissa Pearce & Associates can make your divorce easy, legal, and as quick as possible
As noted, there are many benefits to virtual divorce. The top benefits include:
When you choose Melissa Pearce & Associates, you can fill out a pre-engagement form on our website. During our virtual pre-engagement meeting we can discuss the ins and outs of having a virtual divorce and how an online divorce lawyer from our firm can help you. We will answer all your questions, determining the best way to move forward with your virtual divorce.
You can also connect with us on social media or sign up for our monthly newsletter to find out more about how we can help. We strongly believe that no family should face divorce alone and that our extensive experience allows us to anticipate any potential pitfalls, counseling you throughout an often-difficult process. Contact Melissa Pearce & Associates today.