How Coronavirus can impact your divorce in Washington State
Could Coronavirus interrupt your divorce process? When is it unsafe for you to move to attend your divorce trial? We have chosen a few of these questions and answers here.
In this incredibly fearful and stressful time, we’re going through, first, contact your lawyer and ex and discuss your concerns. For all you know, your ex is also anxious and wants to talk alternatives.
If you are considering a divorce and wondering what will happen next? Are the family courts still open? What do you need to do?
Washington has declared a state of emergency over COVID-19 and its possible influence in the state.
Washington family courts are still open for now. If you have a court date on the calendar or you want to file for divorce, currently, court houses throughout the state are open so far, with particular health care precautions in place.
Washington courts state that if lawyers, litigants, court clerks, and other employees are at risk of exposure to or transmission of coronavirus, they are not allowed to come in court. Instead, anyone with symptoms of coronavirus or risk of exposure should contact the court by phone and request in writing to seek some other accommodation or reschedule the proceeding. Court staff and judges will handle applications on a case-by-case basis consistent with the most updated guidance from the authorities.
With your ex consent, hiring an online mediator or appointment of a private judge to manage your case, can be better alternatives. In order to keep negotiation moving forward you have option to make phone call or video consultation.
What suggestions do you need to follow if you go to court?
Follow the necessary health care precautions for decreasing exposure to coronavirus in court and in any public setting:
- Bring tissue and hand sanitizer with you;
- Stand away from gathering if you need to wait (maintain 3 feet distance from any individual);
- Wipe your cell phone down after use;
- Frequently wash your hands for 20 seconds and don’t touch your face and eyes.
If you have an underlying health condition let your lawyer know about it. Depending on your current situation, an alternate setting or court date may be in your best interest.
How do we proceed our divorce case if I’m voluntary quarantined and can’t leave house?
Whether you are reaching out to us for your free consultation to know your rights, or you are a client already consulting with our attorneys, we encourage you to schedule video call appointments if you do not want to leave home. We hold a secure video meeting that is simple to use and reliable. Simply inform us when you can make a phone or video conference and we will arrange divorce paperwork and financial disclosures.
As well as if you would like to meet in person, we greet you to visit us at our offices. We are welcoming and you can rely on us to present a clean and tidy environment with access to tissues, hand sanitizer, and restrooms. However, we are offering Virtual consultations with a lawyer to help safeguard your rights throughout your divorce process.
If I’m still in the information gathering phases, how can I get updates about my upcoming case?
If you are looking for information about your divorce process in the current fearful scenario, we possess comprehensive and accurate information about divorce here on our website for you to access from home, including information about custody, alimony, mediation, asset division, and more.
To further protect our clients we are encouraging connections by phone, Skype, FaceTime, or similar ways.
We are also operating with the family courts and opposing counsel to set up court appearances, arrange conferences, and other litigation events by staying at the office whenever possible.
To protect the well-being of all concerned, all of our lawyers and staff have the capability and technology to work on cases and with clients from office as well as at the home. Your phone calls will be answered. Your emails will be returned. Your case dates and deadlines will be met wisely.
We understand that the days ahead may be a challenge. We do not yet know the extent to which certain courts will curtail hearing. But we will continue to serve to take care of our cases and to take on new matters and clients. We will simply handle your case in more technology and less traditional-driven ways, that are more reliable for your health and ours. We encourage you to stay in touch with us for updates.