As most of you know, the probate and family law courts in Massachusetts are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. How can you resolve your matter during this crisis.
1. If its an emergency, your matter may be able to be heard telephonically. But those are rare, as I understand it. What you and I think is an emergency may not be one for the court. Domestic Violence Restraining orders may qualify as an emergency. A financial issue, including a modification of support based on a loss of job, may not.
2. You should consider mediation. The mediators here at Fields and Dennis can help you resolve your dispute using remote videoconferencing.
3. Since mediation isn’t binding, you may want to consider submitting a matter to arbitration which is binding. With arbitration, the parties can select an arbitrator, present the case to him/her by submitting papers and remote videoconferencing. I have acted as arbitrator and am certified by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.
4. With both mediation and arbitration, the parties decide what the issues are: maybe it’s the whole case, or maybe its just parenting time during the current pandemic. You might just need mediation or arbitration as a stopgap to get you through til the courts are fully operational again.
5. Whatever your needs, please feel free to give us a call at Fields and Dennis. Our number is 781.489.6776.