The Divorce Process During the Covid 19 Pandemic

As of right now, 4/1/20, the courthouses in Placer, Sacramento, and El Dorado, the counties in which most of my clientele are located, are postponing all but the most essential hearings/proceedings regarding divorce and family law cases. The Court’s are still open to address domestic violence restraining orders and emergency requests. Emergencies are defined as there being imminent harm and/or irreparable injury. However, hearings and/or proceedings regarding issues like child custody, child or spousal support, are being postponed roughly 60 days.

What this means is that once the courts reopen for business as usual, which is currently unknown, it is very likely that the courts will be heavily congested with old cases that have piled up and new cases coming in. It will take significantly longer for your case to be heard by a judge. Before the corona virus, I was telling clients that it can take at least a year to go to trial, due to the court’s calendar. Now, it could be quite longer.

As an alternative route, I offer divorce mediation services as opposed to waiting for a judge to hear your case. Mediation is a voluntary process for both spouses. As a mediator, I serve as a professional, unbiased negotiator for both spouses, not taking sides with either spouse, but helping both spouses reach what they believe to be a fair compromise. Using my experience as a divorce attorney, I can discuss what the law is on a particular issue, and how I believe a judge would handle the issue if you and your spouse did go to court. I can then draft a marital settlement agreement which can be submitted to the court through the clerk’s office. This may help both you and your spouse significantly cut down the time it takes to resolve your divorce case, as well as help both of you save money.

At any rate, whether you wish to hire me as an attorney or as a mediator, I am available for teleconferences and videoconferences. I also wish everyone the best of health.