What Can I Do If I Want to Get a Divorce but The Courts Are Closed Due to The Pandemic?
There is no question that the coronavirus has brought a significant amount of upheaval into everyone’s lives, especially when it comes to family law issues. For a number of separated and divorced parents, figuring out custody and time sharing issues over the last month in particular has been a nightmare, with some parents taking drastic measures and violating court orders in the face of the pandemic. A number of families have found themselves in a number of strange circumstances, having to figure out how, exactly, to manage children who travel between two different households when there is a highly contagious virus out there.
The virus has also brought a significant amount of increased interest in divorce amongst married couples, possibly due to a number of couples being cooped up together during the quarantine, or even due to financial stress, as a number of people lost their jobs and/or their net worth due to changes in the workplace and market. Yet while the courts are not available to file for a divorce right now, and some judges are only making themselves available in emergency circumstances (for example, in domestic violence cases), it is still important to use this time to work with a divorce attorney to prepare, as there will be a significant backlog once that the courts reopen.
If You Are a Victim of Domestic Violence, Help Is Available Here in Florida
It is very important to note that, if you are suffering in an abusive marriage, there is still help available to you during this time. There is assistance available in finding shelters that are still open in spite of the coronavirus, and a family law attorney can help you obtain a protection order to restrain your spouse from having contact with you. Keep in mind that judges can still order abusers to leave the home during a pandemic.
Using This Time Strategically
For others who simply want to get the divorce process moving, some circumstances warrant using this time strategically. For example, because the value of one’s assets are set in stone on the day that you file for divorce, if stocks are a significant part of your portfolio, you may have a financial interest in filing as soon as the courts reopen and before the market starts to rebound. In addition, for some parents, financial circumstances may now have changed, and it may make sense to use this time to plan how to preemptively approach the court about child support payments, for example.
There are specific steps you can take during this time to help yourself prepare, such as:
- Figuring how what your living expenses during and after divorce will be
- Discussing with your attorney whether/how the timeline of your divorce has changed
- Figuring out whether your plans for the family home have changed, given that the housing market is now in a temporary freeze due to the pandemic, and whether you will need to refinance at a lower rate, have an updated home appraisal done, etc.
- Discussing whether your co-parenting plan needs to be adjusted in order to provide for your child’s safety and best interest
- Discussing with your attorney whether any recent settlement proposals will need to be renegotiated
Contact Our Florida Divorce & Family Law Attorneys for Help
When it comes to getting through this time and feeling confident about next steps, having an experienced, supportive attorney on your side, assisting you, can make all the difference in the world.
The Arwani Law Firm is still available to help you with whatever your divorce and family law needs are. Contact our Orlando family lawyers today for a free phone consultation to find out more.