The decision to file for divorce does not come easily, especially during the current coronavirus (COVID-19) shutdown. Pressures from the outbreak, together with the stress of being forced together for an undetermined amount of time, are putting many marriages to the test. Many people are left with more questions than answers once they have decided to end a marriage. If you are one of the many Texans considering divorce during this unprecedented time, we would like to offer some answers to these concerns and provide guidance on the next steps for filing for divorce during the coronavirus shutdown. Use caution before threatening divorce and do not make this decision in the heat of an argument. Learn your options, rights, and duties before taking the next step.
STARTING THE DIVORCE PROCESS FROM HOME
Thankfully, we live in a technological world that allows attorneys the ability to communicate with courts, clients, and their staff. As a client, if you have access to a phone, tablet, or computer, you can interview, hire and work effectively with your attorney throughout your case, assuming your attorney has adapted these resources into their practice.
Additionally, all county courts in Texas are file compliant, which means the paperwork for your divorce can be filed electronically, no matter where you live. Many courts have started to allow motions and other hearings to be heard by video conference without having to leave you home.
COLLABORATIVE LAW AND OTHER OUT-OF-COURT-OPTIONS
Due to the current virus outbreak and despite all the changes and allowances being made, courts are limiting proceedings to what is considered “essential.” Unless your case involves criminal matters, CPS, or family violence, your case could get delayed.
There are alternatives available to clients that do not involve the courts. Mediation, Collaborative Law, and other informal settlement methods offer clients the opportunity to settle their dispute without the time restraints of the court. Seek an attorney that is experienced in these methods and can provide you with options outside of traditional litigation.
During a time of great stress and forced isolation, incidents of domestic violence are predicted to increase especially when someone is in an altered state (drunk). Keep yourself safe, do not hesitate to call the police. It goes without saying to follow all COVID-19 safety protocols as well.
SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION
In these uncertain times, it is best to consult with an attorney in your area. States, counties, and individual courts continue to change their policies and procedures to maneuver through the uncharted territory of the coronavirus outbreak. A divorce lawyer can help guide you through the obstacles and provide you with information and options that you may not have known were available. Your attorney can assist you in charting through unforeseen challenges that any divorce can face, including complications involving asset division and child custody concerns.
If you are planning to manage your divorce alone, it recommended that you consult with an attorney at the least, whether you decide to hire one or not. Find a lawyer that will spend some time with you the thoroughly discuss your situation and provide feedback.
COVID-19 has changed the lives of so many and how we conduct our daily lives. We are lucky to live in a time that allows us to adapt to the situation. The attorneys and paralegals at Myres & Associates are using telephone and video conferencing, and cloud software to keep you informed and your case moving forward.
Contact Myres & Associates for more information and options for divorce during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Our team is available to answer your questions during these challenging times.