The Family Law Decision Directory is a listing of experienced Family Law attorneys across Northern Virginia who are helping families in conflict during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The directory provides experienced Family Law attorneys to act as arbitrators and judges pro tempore to decide issues where the parties have been unable to resolve them through negotiation or mediation. A Family Law attorney serving as an arbitrator can conduct hearings and decide issues of property division, child and spousal support, and allocation attorney’s fees. A Family Law attorney appointed as a judge pro tempore can conduct hearings and decide all of these same issues plus child custody.
The Family Law Decision Directory is a listing of experienced Family Law attorneys across Northern Virginia who are helping families in conflict during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of the various Judicial Emergency Orders from the Virginia Supreme Court, the courts in Virginia have been open on a very limited basis. Thousands of family law cases are being removed from the Virginia court dockets to be rescheduled. Unfortunately, many of these cases have been rescheduled into late 2020 and some even into 2021. The courts are not fully open and it is unknown when they will fully open.
There are two main advantages to using an arbitrator or judge pro tempore through the directory during the pandemic. First, in nearly all cases, the matter can be heard much faster than getting on the court’s docket in your local jurisdiction. There is a growing backlog of cases that will take a long time to resolve. The courts are doing the best they can, but there are only so many regular judges and clerks in each jurisdiction.
The second advantage of using the directory is that hearings can be conducted remotely, reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19. Trials, hearings, and motions can occur through Zoom, Webex, or a similar audio-visual conference platform, thus insuring social distancing. However, if all parties agree, hearings can be held in person if proper safety precautions are observed.
The lawyers who participate in the directory have agreed to reduce their regular hourly rate in order to make the program more affordable to the public.