Aug 31, 2020 - Divorce by Seastrom Tuttle & Murphy
It’s unlikely that you made the decision to divorce lightly, so if you’ve taken steps to end your marriage, you are likely ready to get it done as quickly as possible. However, pursuing your divorce during a global pandemic might just be too much stress for anyone to handle. Between California court closures and socially-distanced attorney meetings, deciding whether or not to move forward with your divorce during the COVID-19 crisis becomes complicated.
While getting a divorce during this unprecedented time will be more complicated, it won’t be impossible. You’ll simply have to decide for yourself whether this next chapter of your life simply cannot wait. To help you make this critical decision, we’re answering some of the most frequently asked questions about getting a divorce during a pandemic.
Can I meet with my Irvine family law attorneys over the phone or on Zoom?
Fortunately, today’s technology does allow face-to-face conversations with your trusted Irvine family law attorneys to proceed as planned. While it may not be what you imagined, you will still have the opportunity to speak one-on-one with your divorce attorney and strategize the best approach for getting your divorce done quickly and efficiently. Nearly all family law offices have updated their technology to offer this important option instead of in-person meetings. Choosing this option ensures both you and your attorney remain safe.
How will the court system’s response to COVID-19 affect my case in the courts?
Unfortunately, the pandemic has caused a wide variety of courts to shut down until further notice, and this is undoubtedly the case with California courts in most districts. Unfortunately, you need to be prepared for drastic slowdowns in processing times, continuances, or postponements and anticipate that many hearings will be set for later dates. Though the courts may allow some cases to proceed telephonically, whether or not you will want to proceed in such a manner will depend on the circumstances of your case.
We recommend you pay close attention to ongoing announcements coming from each of the California court districts. If you’re divorcing in Orange County, you can click here for more information about the court district’s response to COVID-19. Otherwise, speak with your attorney to determine whether you can proceed to mediation and avoid court hearings altogether – depending on how contentious your divorce is, this might be the best approach.
I haven’t officially started the process of divorce yet. Should I just wait until the threat of the pandemic subsides?
While there may be additional red tape to push through and you will likely experience delays no matter what, waiting to initiate your divorce simply means that you will be delaying the process even further. Our Irvine family law attorneys do not recommend waiting. Why? Consider the fact that the court’s closure is creating a backlog of cases that will need to be heard in their filing order. Waiting to file your divorce means you will be added to the back of a very long line – you might as well get your filing in now, so the proceedings are underway once we return to some sense of normality. Contact our office today to discuss your legal rights and options.