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Divorce proceedings go virtual during pandemic

"It's hard to be quarantined with the one you can't stand."

PHOENIX — As the world continues to evolve in the wake of COVID-19, more obligations and businesses are being conducted through cyber means, one of which is the process of getting a divorce. 

We spoke to Jennifer Hargrave, a specialty attorney who's been settling cases more and more online.

"It's hard to be quarantined with the one you can't stand," Jennifer Hargrave said.

Hargrave has been settling family law cases for 25 years.

"I think this time has brought a lot of clarity for a lot of families and they're realizing the one they're married to isn't the one they want to spend the rest of their lives with, and that's OK," she said.

Hargrave says delaying divorce can complicate matters, which is why a virtual option is a useful tool.

"It allows us to bring closure to these family law issues. In this time of uncertainty, a lot of people are struggling with the unknown, and if we can at least get some answers and bring a close to this chapter and begin the next, I think that's a really good thing," she said.

She's personally seen the effect the pandemic has taken on people's relationships and says there are positive approaches amid the outbreak.

"We're using Zoom to help settle cases in mediation, to participate in joint sessions and collaborative divorce and even to have hearings on temporary issues or final trials using Zoom," she told 12 News

If divorce is the decision during the pandemic, Hargrave says, the pros outweigh the cons.

"It's also cost-effective so you're paying less for the professionals, you don't have to pay your lawyer to travel down and wait at the courthouse, and the same is true for expert witnesses in your case," she added.

She believes that as we continue to adapt, these remote resources will still be used regularly.


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