NAVIGATING DIVORCE DURING COVID 19 | CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
Beginning the divorce process for any couple has always been a stressful undertaking. Divorce during COVID 19 magnifies that stress big time. With our vocabulary expanded to include “quarantine, lockdown and shelter in place” the anxiety in filing for divorce during the pandemic is exasperated. With eight months under our belt, our Board Certified Austin Divorce Lawyer at Newberry Law has learned how to deal with the new normal in filing for divorce (or any other family law matter) and effectively navigating the court systems. The reality of the situation is that each county has implemented their own policies and procedures while following directives from the Supreme Court of Texas and the Governor’s office. Below are some helpful tips to consider while the pandemic continues:
Filing For Divorce During Covid 19 Electronically
The filing process for a divorce, modification or SAPCR is essentially the same as it was prior to divorce during Covid-19. Each county accepts electronic filing and our Austin Family Law firm is equipped to file in any county in the State of Texas. Once the case is filed electronic documents can be sent to our process server or to the other party via email to begin the case.
Hearings During the Coronavirus Pandemic
For divorce during covid 19 all courts are closed for in-person hearings. Some judges have allowed parties to submit reasons why an in-person hearing should be heard and are granting them on a limited basis. In order to social distance the courts are utilizing virtual hearings using Microsoft Teams, ZOOM, and Google Meet. All persons looking to file a family law matter should be prepared to use one of these platforms should a hearing be necessary. As a family lawyer in Austin I am becoming accustomed to preparing for virtual hearings and attending them. The virtual hearing keeps all of my evidence, documents, notes, pleadings, discovery and correspondence at a click away.
All litigants should know that hearings conducted virtually require the same decorum as in-person. Proper dress attire is required. The rules of evidence are still followed. The courts monitor objections and evidence as though they were conducting an in-person hearing. Austin Divorce Lawyer, Joe Newberry always conducts a test call using the platform of the court prior to any virtual hearing. This ensures that we are able to communicate effectively during the hearing and the client understands how the procedure works.
Presenting Orders to the Courts
Prior to Covid-19 orders were to be presented to the court in-person for clients to be divorced. Due to the closure of the courts, judges are allowing attorneys to submit Final Decrees with an affidavit to finalize the case. This is known as “proving up the divorce” and was done in person prior to Covid. With modifications and SAPCR’s the courts have always allowed order to be entered by submission.
We’re Here to Help You With Your Divorce During Covid 19
Newberry Law, PLLC has been working hard since Covid-19 to conduct consultations remotely via telephone or video conference. We have become efficient in video platforms to ensure that our clients are adequately represented and we are fully prepared. If you are in need of representation for any type of family law matter please contact our offices at 512-320-8200.