Effective later in 2020, one of the highest courts in the United Kingdom plans to live stream divorce and family law hearings on its official website and on social media platforms, like YouTube and Facebook.

In 2018, some civil courts dabbled with online hearings. The Court of Appeal’s family law live streaming builds on that program, according to Family Law division president Andrew McFarlane. 

Nevertheless, “We are of course mindful that in some cases, full public access would not be appropriate, we will ensure that those involved in such cases remain protected,” he added. Other privacy protections include a 90-second streaming delay, so the judge can pull the plug if necessary.

Court Hearings in Divorce Cases

Most marriage dissolutions do not go to trial. In fact, over 90 percent of all civil cases, including divorces, settle out of court.

However, there is usually a temporary hearing. About two weeks after the petition is filed, a judge enters interim orders regarding child custody and child support. Additional orders usually include property injunctions that prohibit parties from selling and transferring things like real property and motor vehicles. 

Judges sometimes include personal conduct injunctions and protective orders, especially if there are verified allegations of domestic abuse.

Technically, these orders expire when the divorce becomes final. Frequently, however, the judge extends temporary orders into the final orders. That’s especially true regarding the parenting time division. Many judges do not like to significantly alter parenting plans, even if the arrangement is not perfect.

Resolving Divorce Cases

Instead of a final trial, most divorces settle during mediation. A mediator, who is usually an unaffiliated Spartanburg County family law attorney, meets with both sides and listens to brief opening arguments. Then, the mediator conveys settlement offers and counteroffers back and forth as the parties wait in separate rooms. If both parties negotiate in good faith, mediation is usually successful.

Mediation has some significant benefits, mostly in terms of reduced costs. These costs are not just financial. Divorce usually involves significant stress and other emotional costs. The sooner it is over, the sooner life gets back to normal, or at least the new normal.

Additionally, mediation has a positive effect on the parties. If disputes arise in the future, as they almost inevitably do, the parties often try to talk out their differences before they get lawyers involved. Mediation also increases voluntary compliance, since the parties feel they had more control over the outcome. Voluntary compliance means fewer expensive trips back to court on motions to enforce.

Divorce is a court-supervised process, but there are very few live hearings. For a confidential consultation with a Greenville family law attorney, contact the Briggs Law Firm. Convenient payment plans are available.

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