Will COVID-19 Impact My Divorce?

COVID-19 has dramatically impacted all aspects of daily life, and how most states operate. This includes divorce. In California, the legal process for divorce has been modified to accommodate COVID-19 measures. While cases are still in review and the court continues accepting submissions, you may need to research how your case could be affected by the pandemic.

General Filing and Delays

The California courts have taken measures to protect staff and visitors during the pandemic. You may experience longer wait times for processing applications, and you may be unable to get your documents submitted by the designated due date. You can contact the courthouse or visit your court's website to find out more information about how COVID-19 may have impacted your case.

Family Law Cases

If you are in the process of filing for divorce or another family law case, you may need to adjust the time of your hearing. The hours of the designated courthouse may have changed. Be sure to check the website for accurate information on hours of operation.

If you need to file documents by a specific date and the court is closed, you may be able to file remotely. Most courts are closed, but some have made allowances for filing online, by mail, or by drop-box. The court may allow you to use its free program to fill out your forms online and e-file the court's completed forms.

Court dates may have changed or moved to a virtual platform. If you could not attend a scheduled court date due to court closure, check with the court clerks to see if you can be given a newly scheduled hearing. In situations that involve delivering a copy of the summons to another party, you should check with the court to see if they can do it for you.

The Bad News

Couples without children are experiencing more losses due to divorce than they would have pre-COVID. Separation and divorce involve one partner moving out of the shared space. Housing is difficult to find, and moving is exponentially more complicated because of travel restrictions and shutdowns.

The division of joint assets is also more keenly felt because of the economic strain of the pandemic. Surviving during shutdowns and layoffs is twice as difficult, especially when you transition from two incomes to one. During these difficult times, be sure to consult a legal advisor to determine the best course of action.

Unexpected Benefits

Due to the introduction of virtual platforms in the court systems, some divorce cases are moving faster than usual. Scheduling a court date can often be a headache. You have to work around your schedule in addition to the court's schedule. During the pandemic, many courts have used Zoom video conferencing to hold hearings. This cuts down on wait times and helps to ensure the health and safety of those involved in the case.

Handling Your Divorce During COVID-19

Divorce is complicated, even more so during these unprecedented times. Choose a legal team you can trust to keep your safety and best interests in mind. At Palmer Rodak & Associates, our team of lawyers understands how stressful divorce is, especially during a pandemic. That's why we work hard to provide sound legal guidance to help you successfully bring your case to a close.

Contact Palmer Rodak & Associates today for legal help.