A Practical Guide To Getting Divorced Remotely

A Practical Guide To Getting Divorced Remotely

by Jul 15, 2020COVID-19, Divorce

Just as we all thought things here in California were starting to return to normal, COVID-19 has come roaring back. This means that family courts will likely continue to hold hearings and divorce proceedings remotely for quite some time.

If you were hoping to wait out the pandemic before filing for divorce because you would prefer your divorce trial to be in a courtroom, you’re likely going to be disapointed.

For those who don’t want to wait any longer, getting divorced remotely is not nearly as complicated as you might believe. To help you prepare, we’ve created a quick guide that will show you what you need to make the process as painless as possible.

Helpful Tools For Remote Communication

In theory, if you really had to, you could use a smartphone for just about everything you’ll need to do when getting divorced remotely. However, that would likely be cumbersome in many cases, so here are some other tools that will make your life easier.

Desktop/Laptop Computer: Any Mac or PC made in the last five years or so will be a huge help. Having a bigger screen to read emails and documents, plus having a physical keyboard to type on will make communicating much easier.

Printer and Scanner: You’ll likely want and/or need to print out a least a few documents to review and sign before returning them to your attorney. Many printers have built-in scanners that you can use to scan documents that you sign. In a pinch, however, you can take a picture of signed documents with your smartphone.

Good Internet Service: It may seem obvious to many that having a solid internet connection is required for remote communication, but many people who live in rural or remote areas still don’t have access to high-speed internet. If your internet is spotty, but you have decent mobile phone service, you can tether your smartphone to your computer to get internet access.

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Software & Services

Once you’ve gotten a handle on all the hardware you need, there are a handful of software tools and services that can make remote communication easier as well.

Email: Again, while email is typically a given, not all email services are created equal. If you’re using an email address provided by your internet service provider (Comcast, Sonic, AT&T, etc) consider switching to a more reliable service like Outlook.com or Gmail from Google. That way, if you move or change internet providers, you don’t lose your email address.

Video Conferencing: If you’ve read anything about the pandemic, you’ve probably seen the word Zoom mentioned at least once or twice. Zoom is a free video conferencing software tool that many courts and attorneys are using to communicate while working from home. To learn more, read our guide about video conferencing etiquette when attending virtual court hearings.

Common (and also free) alternatives to Zoom include Apple’s FaceTime (only available for Mac and iPhone/iPad users) and Google’s Hangouts, which anyone with a Gmail account can use.

Don’t Sweat The Tech

If you are not particularly tech-inclined and find all of these recommendations a tad overwhelming, that’s understandable. Keep in mind that most of our recommendations are optional, and we’ve mentioned them because they’ll make getting divorced remotely a lot easier.

If you prefer to do things over a regular telephone and physical mail delivery, make sure you tell your attorney that upfront so that they understand how to communicate with you.

If you have questions, or are ready to file for divorce and need an attorney, please contact our office today.


At Vonder Haar Law Offices, we offer every client a free phone consultation to discuss their unique situation and determine how we can help. To arrange a consultation, please fill out the adjacent form or call us at: (707) 529-3200.

We provide representation in California State and Federal Courts. We accept most major credit cards for your convenience.

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