How Does COVID-19 Affect My Family Law Matters?

It might be an understatement to say that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed how we do a lot of things. For many of us, going to dinner currently means ordering takeout, taking the kids to school means opening a laptop, and “big plans for the weekend” means taking a walk around the block. Suffice it to say, things right now are very different than they used to be. So what does that mean for your family law matters?

It depends on what issues you are dealing with. The pandemic is still affecting every element of our lives, so different areas like divorce, adoption, and parenting plan modifications are all in flux. As always, the best way to find out an answer to your specific situation is to get in touch with us directly. We will answer some of the most commonly asked questions we get here.

One question that we hear often is: are divorces still happening? Yes – divorces are still happening. Couples are still going to court, even if the proceedings are virtual. If you are ready to talk to someone about moving forward with a divorce, there is no need to wait until the pandemic has officially ended. There are more options than ever before in terms of how to get divorced.

It is fair to say, however, that the courts are backlogged in a way that they are not during normal times, so it might be good to get the jump on things if you are ready to make some real changes. It is also important to remember that divorces can be agreed upon with both spouses and don’t always have to be settled in a courtroom. Whatever option is best for your situation should be determined on an individual basis.

We also hear questions about visitation rights for parents who have already divorced. The pandemic itself should not remove anyone’s parental rights. However, parents who currently have COVID-19 – whether they are sick or asymptomatic – have been wondering if that takes away their visitation rights and if they are required to let their co-parent know. In the eyes of the law, this is a complicated issue. We will say that if you are sick, it affects your visitation in the same way it would with any other illness. If you were down with the flu, you might not be up to having your kids come visit, and the exact same thing applies to COVID-19.

As for us at Cate & Brough, we are still open and still approaching your family law issues with careful consideration and compassion. We are currently offering a wide variety of appointment types, including virtual options. We will continue to adjust as the pandemic develops. Please stay tuned to our website for any updates, and contact Cate & Brough today with any family law issues you are dealing with. We are here to help!

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Cate & Brough, P.A.

At Cate & Brough, we all have personal experience with family law and family court. We know more than just what the law says about your issue – we know what you are going through.
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