Effects of COVID on Family Law

When COVID first began, there was a flurry of family law cases. Back in March and April, legal proceedings were quite a process due to this influx. The court had to be emailed to request a relief, which in this situation could mean an extension of the deadline. This request may or may not be granted by the court. The courts themselves were closed, too, so taking a case to court wasn’t an option. Many legal proceedings remained at a standstill.

Fortunately, the courts developed strategies to allow court proceedings to carry on effectively. Once health authorities developed a stronger understanding of COVID, measures were put into place to re-open the courts in a safe manner. For instance, as of November 24th, everyone is required to wear a facemask while in the courthouse. Each court has their own COVID guidelines, which are continually updated to stay up-to-date with the latest government guidelines.

The main change that COVID has had on family law, and law in general, is that lawyers and clients are encouraged to use digital communication whenever possible. For family cases, often the only matters that will be held in-person are trials. We’re seeing more use of audio conferences and video conferencing than ever before. Doing so keeps legal proceedings moving forward without putting anyone at unnecessary risk. Quite frankly, it’s pretty straightforward for all parties involved.