Can I Get a Divorce During the Pandemic?
Were you contemplating getting a divorce before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic? Or did you start the divorce process before the stay-at-home order began? Even though the majority of businesses are closed and you may be stuck at home, you can still get started with your divorce or continue through the divorce process.
Admittedly, your divorce will be more complicated during the pandemic. However, there are still many attorneys who are working remotely from home and the New Jersey Superior Court Family Division is still running in each county. Many of the Court’s functions, such as Motion hearings or Case Management Conference, are still occurring telephonically or virtually in order to avoid a backlog for the Court. Therefore, you are still able to move through the divorce process even though it seems like everything around you is closed.
If you are seeking a divorce, then your next step is to meet with an attorney to determine what your needs and goals are in the divorce and to start the process. As stated above, many attorneys are still working remotely, so you can go ahead and set up a telephone meeting with an attorney to see if they are the right fit for you.
Even though some of the Court’s functions may be slightly delayed due to the pandemic, your attorney can avoid this delay by trying to resolve your divorce without Court intervention. This means that you and your attorney can utilize alternative resolution methods, such as mediation or settlement conferences, to try and settle your case or as much of your case as possible without the need for the Court. For example, if you choose to use mediation, there are many mediators who are currently able to utilize video conference services in order to set up meetings between the mediator, you, and your spouse.
If you are in the middle of the divorce process, your attorney can agree with the other side to exchange discovery, which can be a long and tedious step in the divorce process. There is no need to delay discovery because the majority of the work can be done from home. Additionally, if there are emergent circumstances, you are still able to file the necessary papers with the Court as the Court is still hearing emergent matters as they come in via telephone or video conference.
The current pandemic is a stressful and frustrating time for almost everyone, which adds on to the stress of a divorce. It can be overwhelming. Remember that you can still move forward with your divorce and try to move past this emotional time in your life. The key is finding an attorney who is fully prepared to move your case forward as if there were no pandemic going on at all. If you are considering a divorce or in the process of getting divorced and need help navigating this process, please contact the experienced family law attorneys of Dalena & Bosch to schedule a consultation and discuss your needs and goals.