The coronavirus outbreak has touched every part of our lives, and family law hasn’t been immune to its effects. We’ve seen the ripple effects of the virus leading to a rise in divorce, child custody issues, and domestic violence instances. We’ve received countless questions from our clients who are unsure of how to navigate their family matter during a time like now. Below, we are going over how COVID-19 has affected family law cases and how it may affect you.
Divorce During COVID-19
Couples who are isolating together are spending much more time together than they would normally, and it may exacerbate pre-existing problems. Already, we’ve seen headlines of an increase in divorce filings as quarantine orders lift in China, and it may be an indicator of where we’ll be in the near future.
If you and your spouse have reached the decision to end your marriage, it’s in your best interest to get started on the divorce process sooner rather than later. Even though there are changes with the court system, you can still file the necessary paperwork. If you delay, you risk falling behind in a backlog, adding months to your divorce. Use this time to your advantage and get as prepared for your case with your attorney.
Child Custody and Parenting Time Disputes
Under these unusual circumstances, you may be wondering if your current custody agreement still stands. If you and your former spouse have shared parental responsibilities, we advise that you both continue to follow your current agreement. If one parent were to withhold visitation or disobey these orders, it could result in contempt of court. Although there are Stay At Home mandates, parenting exchanges are not suspended and should be continued.
We understand the concerns parents have over their children’s safety, especially during these times. You and your ex must communicate with one another and work together for the best interests of your child. If needed, you can suggest making temporary arrangements, such as daily calls via FaceTime or postponing visitation to a later date. However, if you have strong beliefs that your child’s health and safety are at risk, the next step would be to contact a family law attorney. With their legal guidance, you will be able to obtain an emergency motion to restrict parenting.
Stay at Home Orders Confining Domestic Violence Victims with their Abusers
With lockdowns in place aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus, another problem is rising— domestic violence. Domestic violence can occur in any situation, but we typically see it during times of financial or emotional distress such as now. Victims of domestic violence are now forced to isolate with their perpetrators, but there are options. Violence Free Colorado has compiled a list of resources to help people stay informed. Additionally, you and your family can seek protection through legal means. Colorado courts remain open for emergencies, and our attorneys are ready to advocate for you.
Moving Forward with your Case
Your family matter is important to us and shouldn’t be put on hold. At Drexler Law Group, we remain committed to helping families with their legal issues, even in these uncertain times, and we’re prepared to guide you through this too. We know that there are many of you with concerns about your health and safety. Rest assured, our firm has taken measures to ensure that you remain protected while providing quality representation. Here are some of the few ways we are doing this:
Electronic document verification
Virtual consultations via phone calls, emails, and video conferencing
Work with an experienced family law firm, who will treat you like family. Contact Drexler Law at (719) 259-0050 to get started with your virtual case evaluation.