The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has radically altered how the world works, at least for the near term. Entire cities are rightly being shuttered as measures are taken to slow the spread of this dangerous disease. Workers are being furloughed or laid off, there are mounting unemployment claims, and there is an air of uncertainty among all of it.
We’re seeing similar developments within the Colorado court system. While each jurisdiction is responsible for communicating their individual plans for holding court and processing cases as usual, the Colorado Supreme Court and Court of Appeals are also suspending some operations until the Coronavirus pandemic is brought under control and judicial workers can safely return to work.
This is obviously impacting family law cases. Those who are in the process of filing for divorce or resolving child custody disputes are finding themselves hamstrung by the Coronavirus situation. Not every judicial jurisdiction in Colorado has the same stance on this, however. To obtain information about COVID-19 announcements in your county, we suggest visiting the Colorado Judicial Branch’s web page and locating the announcement specific to your county.
New Divorce Filings
Because so many districts are experiencing limited operations regarding the administration of hearings, depositions, and trials, it’s going to be very difficult if possible at all to quickly and effectively file for divorce amidst the Coronavirus pandemic.
When Will This Happen?
We are living in a state of uncertainty. No one knows for sure how long we will have to wait before divorce court proceedings will return to normal. As of the publishing of this blog post, many districts have announced limited operations until mid-May or early June. Depending on the ongoing severity of the Coronavirus pandemic, these timelines might be extended even further.
Therefore, it’s advisable to prepare for weeks and potentially months of delays. As challenging as this may be for some, it’s worth remembering that everyone is experiencing setbacks as a result of current events. Even in cases of uncontested, childless divorce proceedings, it’s likely that little to no progress will be made for newly filed cases until operational restrictions are lifted.
What Can Be Done During This Time?
Even though the Colorado court system is experiencing protracted delays, that doesn’t mean you cannot obtain legal advice related to your divorce filing. During the COVID-19 situation, Kokish and Goldmanis, PC is still engaged in active communication with our clients. So, we remain available to consult with you and develop strategies for divorce proceedings now, so that appropriate action can be taken when it becomes possible to do so.
Impact on Domestic Situations
Not only are judicial operations experiencing significant disruptions, but stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders are making it difficult to locate housing alternatives. This is having direct impacts on marriages that are in the process of being dissolved.
So, in addition to divorce filings being drawn out with no real end in sight, local public health directives are adding yet more complexity to the situation. Right now, it’s not so easy to find a new place to live, even temporarily. An example of this is the abrupt drop in bookings on lodging platforms like AirBnB and Hotels.com.
If you’re someone who is currently in the early phases of divorce and you’re still living with your partner, the best actions to take during this time are to remain patient and do the best you can to tolerate your existing living situation. It might be worth exploring temporary living situations with family or friends; however, keep in mind that the same social distancing guidelines are going to need to be taken into consideration.
We are all in this together. And, everyone is encountering personal struggles as the Coronavirus pandemic continues to send shockwaves throughout the world.
We Are Still Here for You
One of the many benefits that comes with having an experienced Family Law team in your corner is effective preparation—preparation for filing motions, drafting necessary documents, and providing sound legal advice for complicated cases.
Kokish and Goldmanis, PC is your legal resource for Family Law matters related to divorce, child custody, will and estate cases, and more. We specialize in demystifying the legal process, and our team is standing by to help you even as we’re all adjusting to life in quarantine.
If you are in need of legal counsel in a Family Law matter, please contact our offices today. We look forward to be of service to you during these trying and uncertain times.