What does the COVID-19 pandemic look like for thousands of unhappy couples in the US? According to legal specialists, the 31% spike in divorce cases is merely the tip of the iceberg.
As COVID-19 continues to disrupt the legal landscape, congested family courts now have longer processes, canceled hearings, and delays to emergency orders. Couples already divorced face similar challenges in managing logistics, custody arrangements, and child support payments.
These setbacks pose a dangerous challenge for those living with abusive spouses, who may find it harder to file restraining orders.
If you are part of a family law case or want to file one soon, knowing what to expect helps you manage your expectations and allows you to plan ahead when delays are inevitable.
Implications of Delayed Justice
New York Public Radio recently aired an interview that highlights the implications of COVID on the family court system. During the interview, listeners from around the country described how challenging it was to reach a judge. Some had to wait for months to adjust child support payments or even move due to fears of contracting the virus.
Children are most vulnerable to family court disruptions. The younger the children, the more susceptible they are to their parents' decisions, which may not be in their best interests. When divorced parents disagree on most matters, it complicates their living situation and that of their children since they are more likely to commit court order violations.
Job losses are hitting the economy hard, and millions of Americans are out of work. Since people can no longer afford child support payments, delays in family court create problems for those who can no longer afford to pay. While judges have tried to resume court processes by working remotely, there are still long wait times that place parents and their children in compromising situations.
The New Normal
Until life returns to normal, couples involved in family court cases must expect delays and prepare for them before they file. New Jersey courts resumed services on June 22, 2020. However, most court employees continue to work remotely while a few judges and staff members stay onsite. Additionally, the courts are only accessible to a limited number of people, attorneys, and litigants at a time.
Attorneys are still working round the clock, accommodating changes by working remotely with both the court and their clients. You don't have to wait to speak to an attorney if there is an emergency, especially if there is abuse or violations of a restraining order or custody agreement.
How the Lento Law Firm Helps
Even with the disruptions to the legal system, courts are evolving to accommodate distancing requirements. COVID-19 is yet again reaching new highs worldwide and shows no signs of cessation in the US.
With Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm, your case remains the utmost priority. Even with delays in the filing process, Attorney Lento helps you gather the information and evidence you need to ensure that the process is as quick and straightforward as possible. Contact our Firm at 888-535-3686 to see how we can help.