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Tips for Successful Remote Proceedings in Divorce and Family Law Cases

The pandemic ushered many, many changes into our lives, and one of the primary shifts is a trend toward remote meetings. This is just as true for divorce and family law cases as it is for a wide range of life’s other important events. While remote proceedings can help to take some of the edge off, it’s a good idea to know what to expect and how to prepare. If you are facing a divorce or family law case, it’s time to consult with an Illinois family law attorney

Negotiating Terms between Yourselves

If you and your ex are able to resolve the terms of your divorce or the family law issue between yourselves, the court will only need to sign off on them, which generally amounts to a speedy process with few – if any – surprises. If your divorce is contested or you have a family law concern that you are unable to reconcile between yourselves, however, you can expect the matter to go before the court at least one time (but more likely several times), and the proceedings may be remote. Some people consider it a relief not to be physically present for these court appearances, and others find it more stressful, but regardless of the camp you’re in, it’s important to have a good feel regarding what to expect. 

Get Ready to Zoom

Illinois courts have adopted the Zoom video platform, and if your court proceeding is remote, you should make sure that you are ready to go on Zoom when the time comes. This involves all the following:

  • Having Zoom downloaded on your computer or phone well in advance
  • Familiarizing yourself with the software and making sure you can operate the video and audio settings (it’s an excellent idea to do a dry run with your attorney ahead of time)
  • Obtaining the Zoom login information from the Clerk of Court website

You will be provided with a link that allows you access to your remote hearing when the time comes, and once you’ve logged in, you should make sure that you are visible to everyone else on the video call and that your microphone is muted until you are required to speak. While some counties allow parties to remain off-camera, judges generally prefer to see everyone involved. 

Maintaining the Appropriate Level of Formality

Even if your court proceeding is remote, you should proceed with the same level of formality that you would if you were required to be in court. This includes:

  • Being prepared and logged in at least five minutes prior to your scheduled time
  • Setting up your Zoom appointment in a private, quiet spot in which you will not be disturbed during the proceeding
  • Dressing in appropriate, clean, and conservative attire 

While this should go without saying, it’s important to note that you should not be driving – or doing anything else – during your Zoom court proceeding. 

You Need an Experienced Illinois Family Law Attorney on Your Side

The practiced Illinois family law attorneys at WARD FAMILY LAW are well-positioned to help you, so please don’t wait to contact us for more information today.

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