The COVID-19 Pandemic has had a significant impact on the day to day operations in Dallas-Fort Worth. From business closures to shelter in place initiatives, everyone’s lives have been impacted by the spread of the virus; right down to how divorce courts are operating.
Throughout Texas, most courts have closed their doors for business as usual situations, however, they have taken some thought-out steps when it comes to certain divorce situations. Here’s all you need to know about the current COVID-19 impact on divorce courts, closures, and meeting with your divorce lawyer.
Your Local Divorce Lawyers May Still Be Open for Business
Although most businesses are closed for the time being, divorce lawyers are still deemed essential in the eyes of the government. Even though the courts may be sparingly accessed, our divorce firm is still open during the shutdown.
However, this doesn’t mean you should break mandates and waltz into the office. The family law team at Marx, Altman & Johnson take social distancing seriously and are committed to flattening the curve while also serving our clients going through a divorce.
Currently, our clients have a choice of either a legal consultation over the telephone or an in-office consultation at limited locations seated at opposite ends of the conference table for social distancing requirements.
Family Law Courts Face Limited Closures
Although most courts are shut down right now, the family law courts in Fort Worth are still open for limited business.
If you have an agreed divorce your case will probably not be delayed or affected in any way. This is because your divorce case has been electronically filed and all of your waiting periods will start as planned, even during the shutdown.
However, outside of an agreed divorce the timelines and terms begin to change.
Contested Divorces See Higher Delays
If you have a contested divorce it can be filed as well to start your waiting periods. However, the initial temporary hearing could be delayed until shelter in place is lifted.
The policy of most courts at this time of emergency is to put in place routine standard orders automatically in effect for the cases filed. This provides some interim protection until a hearing can be held.
These orders give spouses protection by ordering opposing parties not to do a laundry list of things such as:
- Exclude you from your home
- Flee with their children
- Transfer funds between accounts
- Go on an unreasonable spending spree
- Threaten or harass you
So this means that if you have a contested matter you can file the case and get some of the relief you need but some of the more time-sensitive matters could get postponed.
Marx, Altman & Johnson Has Adjusted to Help You Move on During the Pandemic
These policies are generally for the DFW area in Texas and could vary in different regions.
In short, the upshot of the closures is that while it may not quite be business as usual, most firms and the courts are adjusting to meet essential needs.
If you have any emergency such as the need for a protective order, a removal hearing, a habeas corpus issue, or any other extraordinary need, the divorce lawyers at Marx, Altman & Johnson are ready to help with your case. From our family to yours, stay safe in these uncertain times and remember, we’re here if you need us!