WhitbeckBennett and Hirsch & Ehlenberger Are Joining Forces to Help Families in Conflict During The COVID-19 Pandemic.
LOUDOUN COUNTY, VA – WhitbeckBennett and Hirsch & Ehlenberger – two family law firms based in Northern Virginia – have partnered together to establish the Family Law Decision Directory. The Family Law Decision Directory is a directory of experienced family law attorneys across Northern Virginia who are helping families in conflict during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Due to the various Judicial Emergency Orders from the Virginia Supreme Court in relation to COVID-19, Virginia’s courts have been open on a minimal basis. John Whitbeck, the managing partner of WhitbeckBennett, explains that “Part of the struggle for families going through a divorce or other domestic disputes is the fact that the courts are basically shut down except in emergencies. This has created an incredible backlog of cases that will last well into next year. The Family Law Decision Directory represents our attempt to help alleviate some of the delays and get people’s cases heard.”
The directory offers relief to this issue by providing experienced Family Law attorneys to act as arbitrators and judges pro tempore. It allows attorneys to decide on matters where the parties have been unable to resolve them through negotiation or mediation.
The advantages of this service are the ability to hear cases faster than if they were on the court docket, and that these meetings can be done remotely.
“Going through a contested divorce during a pandemic is truly a disaster within a disaster,” states Brian Hirsch, partner at Hirsch & Ehlenberger. “The Family Law Decision Directory gives people the opportunity to have their cases decided expeditiously so they can move on with their lives. The participating lawyers who have agreed to serve as arbitrators and judges pro tempore are helping out by lowering their regular hourly rates.”
As Hirsch states, the lawyers who are participating in the directory are reducing their regular hourly rate to make the program more affordable to the public.
This initiative is open to families and individuals affected by COVID-19 needing family legal services across Northern Virginia and is encouraging other local attorneys to join the directory. To learn more about the initiative, please visit familylawdecision.org/.