I read the January 30, 2022 CNN article, “How COVID is Making Divorce Cases More Complicated.” The current difficulties arising in divorce and post-divorce cases go far beyond masks and vaccines. COVID impacts the resolution of cases. In our current environment, it is harder to obtain a meeting of the minds and achieve a fair resolution. The world lacks definitive answers to COVID questions and creates a more difficult environment. This time of uncertainty is coupled with greater anxiety, heightened frustration, and a lack of patience in everything and particularly with regard to endeavoring to resolve divorce cases.
Now we face each other in the sterile world of Zoom meetings rather than in face-to-face meetings, sometimes multiple ones, to address and resolve issues.
Our New Jersey court system lacks an adequate number of judges to move pending Family Law cases.
Few people want to participate in divorce conflict for a prolonged period especially when it is clear that the couple cannot stay together. Even with best efforts, skill and compassion it could feel like a road through a complex corn maze.
In the past, the looming risk of trial with its costs and uncertain motivated efforts to resolve; that is currently absent. As there are not enough judges, the threat of trying a case is usually meaningless. Many also find trying a case by Zoom to be less appealing.
We do not want cases indefinitely drifting like kites in the wind without a clear, efficient path to resolution, as is now the problem.
Lynne Strober is co-chair of the The Matrimonial and Family Law Practice Group at Mandelbaum Barrett and available to answer any questions you may have.