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COVID-19 Family Law FAQ’s

As a result of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), our state has ordered that all residents (with some exceptions) “stay home” through “Executive Order N-33-20” executed on March 20, 2020. Many of our clients have had similar questions during this time:

Can I speak with an attorney at Desai Family Law Group during this time?  Yes.

While we intend to do our part to fight this pandemic, even then, we remain eager to meet with our current and new clients to keep your case moving forward. Our team has comprehensive remote working capability and our lawyers and paralegals are equipped to work securely from home.

Because of the pandemic, we are happy to accommodate “Zoom” videoconference meetings, telephonic meetings, skype or FaceTime.  We also have a variety of platforms, such as Drobox for easy document exchange.

Despite the courts being closed, our offices continue to remain open and available to answer any questions and prepare your documents in anticipation of filing when the courts are available to process your documents. Divorce planning, custody planning, financial planning are all necessary steps to prepare your case.  Despite the court closure, our office remains dedicated to advance your case, protect your rights, prepare for when the courts re-open, and attempt settlement (to the extent appropriate in your case).

How will court closures affect my case?

While the court system is still operating and functioning in a limited capacity, many cases will be delayed due to partial (or even anticipated full) closures of the court (with the exception of emergency hearings). Even upon courts fully reopening, it is very likely that the court calendars will become more impacted for the foreseeable future in their attempts to take care of the backlog and “catch up”.

If you were thinking about filing for divorce and now wondering what to do as a result of the court closures, you are not alone. There are some practical suggestions we can offer that are still available in the face of COVID-19. When the courts reopen vary depending on what county your case is in.

Our office keeps up-to-date with the court closures in anticipation on how they may affect your case. That being said, there are plenty of steps you may wish to explore with your case. We invite you to contact us to discuss which steps may be right for your case.

All counties are granting continuances generously upon request.  As of the writing of this article, the following counties are affected in the following ways:

  • Orange County: court is closed for non-emergency matters until June 2, 2020
  • Riverside County: court is closed for non-emergency matters until April 2, 2020
  • San Bernardino County: court is closed for non-emergency matters until April 2, 2020
  • San Diego County: court is closed for non-emergency matters until April 3, 2020

For our clients who have cases in other counties, please reach out to us so we can discuss how COVID-19 is affecting your particular courthouse.

Should I delay proceeding or filing my family law case?

While we applaud couples for attempting to reconcile, we understand that once it’s over, it’s over. There’s no reason to be in a difficult situation stuck with your spouse/ex simply because of COVID-19. This is especially true in situations that are toxic, abusive, or harming minor children caught in the crossfire. More importantly, there are various statute of limitations that apply even in family law, a delay may cause one of these to lapse causing you to lose many of your rights. Contact us today.

What issues should I keep in mind with regard to my case?

We wish to stress to our clients that many aspects of your case may be affected by COVID-19. We are a full-service family law firm with years of experience representing our clients in all aspects of family law issues. We pride ourselves in staying abreast in all cutting-edge issues; COVID-19 is no exception.

Divorce:

Can I file for divorce during this time?

Some counties are accepting new petitions and court filings. During your consultation we would discuss the advantages and disadvantages of waiting to initiate versus filing for divorce now. Depending on your situation, not filing immediately could affect the outcome of your requested relief. For example, a delay in filing in some instances could be perceived by the court as one not having a sense of urgency. When you meet with your attorney during the initial consultation, he or she will help determine what would be the best steps to take.

Paternity:

Can I file for paternity during this time?

Some counties are accepting new petitions and court filings. During your consultation we would discuss the advantages and disadvantages of waiting to initiate versus filing a petition for paternity now. Depending on your situation, not filing immediately could affect the outcome of your requested relief. For example, a delay in filing in some instances could be perceived by the court as one not having a sense of urgency or even more serious as you waiving certain legal rights. When you meet with your attorney during the initial consultation, he or she will help determine what would be the best steps to take.

 

 

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