Will the Coronavirus Affect Your Divorce?
The world is facing a global pandemic. Many states and local governments in the United States are requiring their citizens to stay at home except for essential matters. If you were considering divorce, or already in the process of a divorce, you may wonder how the COVID-19 virus will impact your legal proceedings.
Divorce and Quarantine
If you are in the process of a divorce in the state of New Jersey, some of the documents you must submit to a court may be done electronically. It is important to note that many courts are not in full operation, or have closed completely. Therefore, if you are even considering going to the courthouse regarding your divorce, you should first call to see if it is open, and always follow your state and local guidelines regarding not leaving your home except for essential business. It is debatable whether or not divorce paperwork is an essential matter, especially if you are able to complete your financial disclosures and other divorce documents and home and submit them through email or an online portal. If you are represented by an attorney, you may always call them, or even set up a video conference for specific needs that need to be addressed.
Divorce Courts in New Jersey
Family and divorce courts will likely close, and many have scaled back their business hours and hours of operation considerably. If you are interested in determining the exact hours of operation of any court in the state of New Jersey, you can look online to find the latest updates. Courts will eventually open back up and handle divorce cases, however, the backlog at that point is likely to be substantial. It is important to consider alternatives to divorce such as appointing a private judge or working with a mediator along with an experienced attorney to move the process forward with your spouse.
What can I do now?
If you are in the middle of a divorce, you may have to simply wait until the courts open back up in order to finalize your divorce. If you are considering a divorce, contacting a divorce attorney can help ensure that you prepare all necessary paperwork now so that the process goes more smoothly once the courts are open again.
Additionally, you should take this time to discuss with your spouse what your plan is if one of you gets the coronavirus. Who will take care of the children? What is the health plan for the children if one of them gets this virus? What will be your family’s quarantine measures? How will you handle child custody arrangements during this time? Do you have an estate plan if one of you happens to die from the coronavirus? While you may be considering divorcing your spouse, the truth is that this global pandemic requires both of you to work together regarding these very critical matters.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
This is an uncertain time for everyone. If you are considering, or in the process of a divorce, contact an experienced divorce attorney at the law firm of Giro Law at 201-690-1642 to help you understand how to protect your legal rights during this time.