Court Closures, Divorce, And COVID-19

There are very few aspects of life in the Southlake, Texas, area that have not been directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes the family court system for everything from divorces and child custody modifications through to visitation and child support issues.

In general, clients should be able to contact a Southlake divorce attorneys by email, phone, or through any type of virtual meeting the attorney may use. In most counties in and around Texas, including in Dallas and the Southlake area, the courts are still available for emergency types of hearings. Other types of hearings, such as divorce hearings, may be postponed until the closures are lifted.

The ability to file for divorce online, which can be explained and completed by your divorce lawyer, allows for parties to start the process. Keep in mind, there will be delays in hearing any cases, so resolution without the need to appear before the court is one of the most effective options.

Using Virtual Mediation

While there is still no clear timeline for courts in Texas to open, most anticipate the return to in-person hearing sometime in May. The good news is that mediators across the state of Texas have quickly moved to video options to complete mediations. The use of online dispute resolution allows the couple, their attorneys, and the mediator to conduct a virtual mediation.

With the use of online technology, the parties and their attorneys can turn to family mediators in or outside of Southlake, Texas. Family law attorneys typically have recommendations for mediators they have worked with in the past.

Signed Decree

In some cases, if the couple has a signed final divorce decree and all required paperwork is in place, it may be possible to have the divorce finalized. This would depend on the specific process in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is different between courts.

The best thing to do is to talk to your family law attorney and discuss the options. While it may take time, the family courts will move to hear cases as quickly as possible once the social distancing restrictions and public building openings are in place. For more information on specific divorce issues during COVID-19, talk to a divorce lawyer at Orsinger, Nelson, Downing & Anderson, LLP.

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