The one thing that’s been on all our minds for the past several weeks is the coronavirus pandemic. We’ve seen the stock market plummet, schools close its doors, mass raids on toilet paper and hand sanitizer, and orders to stay at home.
Before all this, you and your spouse may have been considering divorce or in the initial steps towards dissolving your marriage. With court closures and so much financial ambiguity, how do you move forward? Should you put your family’s decision on pause? In these uncertain times, we want to provide you with the sound legal advice you need on how to navigate a divorce right now.
How Covid-19 Will Affect Divorces
The biggest concern with regards to family law and COVID-19 is court closures. While each city’s court will be different, there will most likely be limited availability or it will be completely closed until a specific date. You can find out if your local court is open by visiting the California Courts website. As we write this, courts in San Diego are not accepting divorce filings, but do not let this discourage you. Though it is dependent on each firm, our divorce attorney can help you prepare the necessary paperwork, so when the courts do open, you can proceed with your divorce without delay.
If you and your spouse are positive about ending your marriage, we recommend that you begin the process as soon as possible. China has already experienced an increase in divorce cases with the quarantine being lifted. Since they are a few weeks ahead of the United States with the virus, it’s a good indicator of where we will be shortly. Courts will likely be busier than ever in addition to dealing with a backlogged schedule, which is why we advise against waiting until things return to “normal.”
At the very minimum, a divorce in California takes six months. The state requires this waiting period for all parties seeking to dissolve their marriage, which means you may have to wait for an indefinite period plus half a year if you decide to hold off.
If you have already filed for divorce, and feel like you are in limbo because of the circumstances, know that you have options. We recommend using this time to speak with an attorney, consider mediation, or begin the discovery process. Both law firms and courts are working diligently to come up with solutions so that family matters may continue to be handled.
At Dan McCandless Law, we are providing consultations with new clients and meeting with current clients via video conferencing. This is to ensure that your legal needs are met while ensuring your health and safety.
Schedule a virtual consultation with Dan McCandless Law at (858) 266-9171 or by filling out our online form. Stay safe and stay healthy.