Everything is going virtual right now thanks to people quarantining themselves over COVID-19-related safety concerns. People have virtual meetings, movies stage virtual premieres, you can even tour museums and other attractions virtually. Perhaps it was only a matter of time until we got here, but there’s been a rise in virtual breakups.
People have been using all kinds of new means to keep in touch while staying isolated and practicing social distancing. One tool that’s gained popularity is Zoom. Originally intended for video conferences, work-related endeavors, and online learning, while it fills that function, many people have also turned to the platform for social purposes. If we had a dollar for every, “I should have bought stock in Zoom” joke we’ve heard or every “Zoom Happy Hour” invite…
In short, Zoom is everywhere and it feels like everyone is using it. One purpose developers probably didn’t initially intend was people using Zoom to end relationships. Yes, people are using videoconferences to dump each other. Or, as one article calls the practice, Zumping.
People breakup in a number of ways. At least via video chat, it’s somewhat face-to-face. If nothing else, it’s more personal than an email or text message. Or standing outside your soon-to-be-ex’s window, face covered by a mask, holding a handmade sign that says, “I think we should see other people.”
The longer people remain in isolation, the more stories emerge of relationships ending this way. Whether it’s Zoom or FaceTime or another platform, people will use it for breakups. Anyone out there get dumped via MySpace back in the day?
Related Reading: Should I Get Divorced?
Zoom and Divorce
While stories about Zoom grab the headlines, these tools have proven useful to us in our line of work. Not just now, though they’ve become especially key lately.
By the time many couples decide to breakup and pull the trigger on divorce, they often no longer live together. It’s one thing if both reside in the same city, but that’s not always the case.
This complicates matters. Tools like Zoom, Skype, and others—Zoom gets the notoriety, but there are more options than ever—offer an alternative avenue of communication. Both attorney-to-client and spouse-to-spouse. It allows for couples to participate in the divorce process from great distances.
While these tools have become more prominent in our industry, they’re especially vital now.
In most places, the courts are still open, though operating at a drastically reduced capacity. One of the reasons courts remain active is for pressing or urgent situations. Things like restraining orders or emergency ex parte matters, like a child in danger.
Granted, most divorces don’t fall into this category unless there are critical protection orders or custody order violations. That doesn’t mean, however, your divorce or custody case has to come to a screeching halt.
Related Reading: Common Divorce Questions Answered
Your case can still move forward.
Contrary to what we see on TV and in movies, most divorces don’t go to trial. That means, in one form or another, spouses hammer out an agreement and the terms necessary to finish their case. Often this includes lawyers and negotiations and other means of alternative dispute resolution, like mediation.
This is one area where tools like Zoom and others prove especially valuable. Due to health and safety concerns, we can’t meet face to face right now. While they not only allow us to get face time with clients, they also help facilitate the mediation process.
It may not be quite the same, but we’ve used video conferences when spouses live in far off lands. As a result, this is old hat to us.
There are certain to be hang-ups and slowdowns along the way—we’ve never experienced anything quite on this scale before. But this technology presents you the opportunity to press on with your divorce.
If you and your ex hash out the terms and reach an agreement, that’s one huge hurdle you no longer have left to clear. When the courts reopen and things get rolling again, instead of having to do all of that, you can hit the ground running. If all goes well, you may only have to deal with the mandatory waiting period and getting a judge to sign off on the paperwork.
This is just one way we’re all adjusting to the current reality and COVID-related concerns. But Zoom is another tool we have in our arsenal, one you can use to move forward with your divorce, even when much of the rest of the world has ground to a halt.
Related Reading: Why Does Divorce Take So Long?