The divorce process can be a challenge. However, divorcing during the COVID-19 pandemic posed additional challenges. The coronavirus caused a halt to many court proceedings.

Courthouses throughout California had to shut down last year to slow the spread of COVID-19. However, courts implemented several strategies to deal with emergency court actions during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as holding remote hearings to resolve emergency filings and adding additional online resources.

California courts have slowly begun to reopen. However, courts now face the challenge of dealing with a backlog of cases, while keeping up with new family court cases being filed each day. 

Some courts may continue to operate on a limited basis. The guidelines for limiting the spread of the coronavirus and the rate of infection in each district dictate court operations. 

Filling for Divorce in San Diego County During the COVID-19 Crisis

San Diego County courts are open and operating. The most recent COVID-19 procedures and safety precautions can be found on the court’s website. If you are ready to get divorced, there is no reason for you to delay the process. 

Couples may continue to file for uncontested divorces and legal separations. It could take a little longer to process your case if there are additional COVID-related delays. However, an uncontested divorce does not take as long as a contested divorce action. 

In uncontested divorces, the spouses negotiate issues related to support, custody, and property division. In a contested divorce, parties present evidence in court, and a judge decides the terms for the divorce. Therefore, contested divorces take longer to complete. That many courts continue to deal with COVID-19 safety issues means that some contested divorces could take even longer to litigate.

However, there are some options that could reduce the time to obtain a divorce, including divorce mediation. Instead of litigating the matter in court, the parties work with their divorce attorneys and a mediator to resolve the contested issues. Then, the parties will submit a settlement agreement to the court for approval, which avoids a lengthy and costly trial. 

Dealing With Other Family Law Issues During COVID-19

The courts are working diligently to ensure that parties receive the protection and support they need when family law emergencies arise. Therefore, if you are the victim of domestic violence or your spouse violates a child custody or support order, you have options for seeking emergency and temporary orders for relief. The courts are hearing cases related to paternity, modifications of orders, adoptions, and annulments

What Should You Do if You Want to Divorce During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

It appears that we may have new waves of coronavirus cases on the horizon. As a result, normal court operations may be temporarily modified. Our San Diego divorce attorneys will continue to monitor the court’s COVID-19 procedures to determine how the policies impact our clients’ cases.

If you are contemplating a divorce, legal separation, or other family court action, it is wise to seek legal advice from an attorney practicing family law in San Diego county. An attorney can advise you of your legal rights and how COVID-19 will impact the divorce process in San Diego County. As with any divorce proceeding, you want to ensure that you understand your legal rights and the steps you need to take to protect your best interests.

The COVID-19 pandemic has touched almost every part of our lives. There could be issues related to the pandemic that impact your divorce proceedings. For example, parents may need to adjust parenting plans and visitation schedules if a parent or child is exposed to or is diagnosed with COVID-19. 

The financial impacts of the pandemic may impact child support, spousal support, and property division. For example, tax issues may arise because of stimulus payments and child tax credits. In addition, a  spouse may require financial support if they have not returned to work because of COVID-related issues. 

Sorting through these matters might require help from an experienced divorce attorney. Unfortunately, the extent of the impact of COVID-19 on divorces and other family law matters continues to evolve. Some issues may resolve themselves, while other issues will require court intervention to resolve. 

For more information, call our law firm at (619) 866-3756 or reach out to us via email by visiting our contact us page.