How the Coronavirus Could Impact Your Divorce Proceedings
While most of us are worried about contracting COVID-19, some individuals are grappling with social distancing and employment concerns, in addition to the complicated factors that accompany the Florida divorce process. You should not have to contend with these issues alone, so if you live in Florida and have questions about how COVID-19 could affect your own attempts to end your marriage, you should contact a team of experienced Fort Lauderdale divorce attorneys who can guide you through the process.
Regardless of where a couple is at in the divorce process, they can expect the pandemic to impact their proceedings in some way. In Florida, for instance, most courts have indefinitely delayed hearings and trials, altered their methods of communication, or changed the process for submitting motions and petitions. Fortunately, many judges have adapted to the current health crisis by holding more hearings and meetings via phone or video conference. Divorcing parties can still, however, expect some sort of delay in their proceedings, at least until Florida courts begin reopening.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made it significantly more difficult for some couples to make arrangements while their divorce proceedings are pending, which includes making decisions about:
- Where each spouse will live during quarantine, especially if one of the individuals is more at risk of contracting the virus through his or her employment;
- How couples with children will share custody, a matter that could become more complicated if one of the parents is more at risk of contracting COVID-19, transportation has become difficult or impossible because of quarantine, or when one of the spouses lives in an apartment with shared amenities; and
- Whether one spouse will still be able to contribute to household expenses, alimony, or child support due to job loss or a change in finances.
Temporary court orders regarding these issues that were already in place prior to the pandemic are still legally binding. However, couples can still work together to come up with temporary modifications to these arrangements to protect the health of their loved ones. One parent, for example, may choose to forego visits for the next few months in exchange for make-up time once the emergency is over.
The COVID-19 pandemic has placed a significant amount of stress on all of us, a problem that could be exacerbated by complicated legal proceedings like divorce. Couples who allow these trying times to interfere with their divorces could end up with a less than fair settlement award or high conflict proceedings. Fortunately, having an attorney on your side who can help represent your interests is one of the best ways to ensure that the pandemic has as little of an effect on your proceedings as possible.
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Please call Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. at 954-945-7591 to speak with an experienced divorce lawyer about obtaining a divorce during the COVID-19 emergency. You can also reach a member of our team by completing one of our brief online contact forms.