With the drastic lifestyle and financial changes in our world as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, life as we know it has seemed to come to a halt in many ways. We are all learning to navigate this new way of life, and with so much still unknown, we all have questions about how to move forward. Many of our clients have asked whether they should put plans to divorce on hold until the coronavirus has subsided and life has gone back to normal. While the answer to this question is entirely situational, we’ve compiled some information that may help you decide how to proceed.
- Divorce rates will increase. It is to be expected that living in quarantine will illuminate irreconcilable differences for many couples. With families living 24/7 in close quarters, we anticipate that we will see a major increase in divorce filings. Historically, divorce rates have increased during worldwide crises and this will be no different. Although life seems to have come to a screeching halt for many, there will also be a great need for legal intervention for many families.
- If you wait until life goes back to normal, you will face a court backlog. To practice social distancing, courts are significantly limiting the number of hearings taking place. With the exception of hearings for Emergency Temporary Orders or Orders of Protection, all other family law hearings are currently being held either telephonically or being postponed for months. Because of these restrictions, there will be a backlog of divorce matters in queue, and it will likely take much longer than usual for a newly filed divorce matter to go to trial or be finalized. If you wait for life to somewhat normalize before you file for divorce, you should expect that your divorce will not be completed or finalized until 2021 or even later.
If you’re considering a divorce and are concerned about the timing, contact the attorneys at OWENS & PERKINS by clicking here or by calling our office at 480.994.8824 to schedule your FREE 30-minute consultation. We remain fully operational while practicing appropriate social distancing and cleaning regimes.