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How Are Divorce Proceedings Being Affected by the COVID-19 Quarantine?

Throughout the United States, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our daily routine in ways that none of us could have ever imagined. Like everyone else, spouses who are already experiencing the turmoil associated with divorce have been forced to deal with additional challenges. Despite the obstacles, it is important to maintain control over what you can and let go what you can’t. Gaining an understanding of the situation and working with a skillful family law attorney can help you find creative ways to overcome this unexpected disruption.

Specific areas where the pandemic is affecting divorce proceedings include:

  • Closed courts — Many courts have closed or have substantially cut back their day-to- day services due to COVID-19. In some jurisdictions, courts are using technology to hold hearings and mediations while the parties and attorneys remain in separate locations. Until the danger subsides, it seems unlikely that new trial dates will be set, so parties that are looking to get their case resolved might take another look at reaching an agreement outside of court.
  • Custody and visitation arrangements — Stay-at-home orders, fears about travel and other factors can make it very difficult for parents of children who live apart while a divorce is pending, or after the marriage ends. Though orders addressing custody and visitation usually must be followed strictly, the threat of coronavirus could justify flexibility or the establishment of interim rules to keep everyone safe. Later on, you can work with your co-parent to make up time together that might have been missed.
  • Financial pressures — Economic harm caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has been incredibly disruptive and could linger for years. Discussions over property division or alimony that occurred a few weeks ago might not reflect current circumstances. If investments or ownership of business are part of a marital estate, it’s important to get an updated valuation to protect your interests.

Whether you’re currently going through a divorce or are ready to end your marriage but are concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on your proceeding, it is important to speak to a qualified local divorce attorney who can help give you the insight you need to make informed decisions.

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Robert S. Pleasant, P.A. advises clients on every aspect of divorce matters, including custody, alimony, property division and child support issues. Please call 919-585-1589 or contact the firm online to make an appointment.