Divorce & Coronavirus FAQs
How will Coronavirus Affect my Georgia Divorce?
FAQs About Divorce and Coronavirus
Below are the frequently asked questions our clients are asking about proceeding with legal matters during coronavirus. If you do not see your question asked and answered, feel free to contact us and will we be happy to answer your quesitions.
Can I start my divorce while social distancing for coronavirus?
Yes. You can still start the divorce process. Your attorney will help you decide what kind of divorce case you want. That decision will determine what your first steps are. All the first steps can be done during social distancing. Divorce takes a lot longer than most people expect. If you know you want to get divorced, it makes sense to start the process sooner rather than later.
Can I finish my divorce while social distancing for coronavirus?
That depends. Judges are working remotely and signing divorce decrees. But not all divorces can be granted this way. If you and your spouse can reach an agreement, you can finish your divorce by paperwork. If you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement, you will need to go to trial and let the judge decide. Your trial will likely have to wait until after social distancing. Your attorney can help you decide how to proceed with your case given the current situation.
Can I have a hearing or trial while social distancing for coronavirus?
Maybe. Courts are also practicing social distancing right now. Judges are hearing limited matters by video conference. At this point, it is unlikely that you can have a final trial by video conference. You may be able to have other types of hearings by video conference. Whether you can have a hearing by video conference will depend on the judge assigned to your case. Your attorney can help you decide whether to wait for a hearing or trial or resolve your case by agreement.
Can my case go to mediation while social distancing for coronavirus?
Yes. Many mediators are now offering virtual mediation. Most cases are required to go to mediation before going to trial in front of a judge. Mediation offers an opportunity for you and your spouse to agree to the terms of your divorce. If you do not reach an agreement at mediation, you will still have completed an important step in your case. If you do reach an agreement at mediation, your case can be finalized.
Is my divorce on pause because of social distancing for coronavirus?
Yes and no. Divorces are complex processes. The court has suspended most deadlines in court cases and has limited hearings. This means there are some legal tools that cannot be accessed right now. But it does not mean your case is entirely paused. There are still things your attorney can do to move your case forward. These include mediation and settlement negotiations among other options. With your attorney’s help, you can also make choices that speed up the resolution of your case.
Will my divorce take longer because of social distancing for coronavirus?
That depends. The length of your case will depend on the type of case, your goals, and your attorney’s strategy. Right now, courts have limited hearings and have suspended most case deadlines. Once court operations resume, there will be a significant backlog in cases. Parties representing themselves will likely experience the most delays. Clients with attorneys will be able to get into court faster. Your attorney can also help you avoid the backlog by resolving your case out of court.
Should I get divorced while social distancing for coronavirus?
That is up to you. The timing of getting divorced is a personal decision. The best question to ask yourself is when do you want your divorce to be finished? Most people expect divorce to be much faster than it actually is. Social distancing is causing a backlog in the courts. Many divorces will take even longer in the next few years. Your attorney can help you predict how long your divorce is likely to take. Then you can decide the right time to start based on when you want to be done.
Should I wait until social distancing for coronavirus is over to talk to a lawyer?
No. Talking to a lawyer does not mean you have to start a case. It means you are getting information so you can make the best decisions possible. An attorney will review your options with you and help you decide on a path forward. That path might involve waiting to file your case or filing it now. But you should make that decision after discussion with your lawyer.
Can I consult with a lawyer remotely?
Yes. We are also social distancing. We will be back in the office as soon as it is safe for us and our clients. Right now, we are conducting all our Legal Clarity Sessions by videoconference. Our firm has always relied on technology to help create a better experience for our clients. Our goal is to be accessible to you even if you cannot make it to our office.
Divorce is challenging enough under normal circumstances. Let us help you navigate the process and reach an efficient resolution so you can move on with your life. Call 678-435-9069 to schedule a Legal Clarity Session. Porchlight is here to help you choose the best path forward, even in these unusual times.