The Advantage of Pop-Up Divorce Courts

Pop-up shops are becoming more and more popular as we progress in the new year. These temporary spaces offer quick access to unique retail opportunities and experiences. In Orlando, we have the Milk District and pop-up shops like the Daily City and Dahlia’s Flower Truck. In California, the ever-popular taco trucks took the food industry by storm over the past few years, and similar pop-up shops have followed suit. These short-term concepts deliver retail therapy, comfort, and a more intimate experience for consumers to enjoy. Now, pop-ups are making space in the judicial system for litigation such as divorce courts and other minor cases.

Pop-up courts have been used for some time to resolve minor cases in popular Spring Break locations, think Panama City, and during large-scale sporting events. Over the decades, the drastic cuts to the justice system have resulted in a judicial system struggling to cope with an increased workload and clogging judicial dockets for prolonged periods of time. Governed by the same legal standards as a traditional court, this temporary court style can help clear up the backlog created by COVID in civil and family courts.

Increased usage of pop-up courts could provide the kind of flexibility the justice system and judges, need to create a more efficient process for some cases. Pop-up courts are not an end-all-be-all solution; they’re simply a tool more courts throughout the United States could use to alleviate backlog issues concerning minor cases. This, in turn, frees up judges and attorneys for more complex or higher profiles cases.

Recently, the Spartanburg County Family Court in South Carolina took the initiative before the holidays to clear their family law docket by establishing a pop-up divorce court that finalized more than 100 divorces in a single day, for cases in late stages or filed by couples without an attorney. Three judges in Spartanburg worked together to create the county’s first-ever “Pro Se Day” event to unclog dockets, clear a backlog of cases, and grant closure to divorce petitioners ahead of the holidays. The three judges presided over ten divorce cases per hour and finalized each divorce. The judges prepared files and scripts for both parties and confirmed that proper witnesses were in attendance to ensure nothing was missed.

Though a speedy divorce is a goal sometimes, not all divorces are compatible with the pop-up court format. One way to accelerate the divorce process in Florida law is a “Simplified Dissolution of Marriage.” This process helps couples have their divorce petition granted in approximately 30 days, from filing to finalization, as long as the divorce terms are uncontested. In addition to the agreement of the terms, couples submitting the contract cannot have children under 18 or dependent children, the wife must not be pregnant, and no alimony can be involved. For Florida petitioners, at least one of the partners must have lived in Florida for at least six months prior, and both parties must fully agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken.

Just because your marriage petitions may not fit into the pop-up or simplified dissolution requirements, divorce does not need to be a long and tedious process. A trained family law professional can help make sure that your divorce is granted in a timely manner and meet your outcome goals.

Divorces are rarely enjoyable experiences; however, they do not have to be mentally exhausting for both parties. Reaching the point of wanting a divorce does not just pop up out of the blue, but if you have the proper guidance, the dissolution of your marriage can be a snap.

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