COVID Considerations During a Divorce

In Alabama, there are not too many COVID considerations during divorce anymore. The family law courts have largely returned to normal, in-person operations for divorce and child-related proceedings. This is a departure from the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the spring and summer of 2020 and most of 2021, divorce and child-related proceedings were held remotely via Zoom. Some cases are still experiencing delays because of continuances that the spouses requested in the early days of the pandemic. COVID Considerations in Divorce

A judge may still use audio/video technologies in place of in-person proceedings due to COVID-related concerns, until September 30, 2022. The administrative order allowing this practice is likely to be continued. There has been an investment in virtual courtrooms. However, doing an uncontested divorce in Calhoun County or anywhere in Alabama has always been available since there are no hearings necessary.

A spouse may have a concern about the court’s impartiality or ability to see what occurred in a proceeding because the proceeding was held remotely. The party did have and still has the ability to appeal a court’s ruling. The time period for an appeal is 42 days, or six weeks, from the date of the issuance of the judgment. A spouse may need to hire a Birmingham divorce attorney skilled in appellate law to represent them in an appeal. Their divorce lawyer in Trussville, or anywhere else, may not be sufficiently familiar with appellate law to draft and argue the appeal.

During the early days of the pandemic, one Covid consideration during divorce was that one parent may have had more time with minor children because of temporary restrictions on in-person education and travel. The other parent will likely not be entitled to request additional time to offset the first parent’s extra time. The parties should work out a viable arrangement regarding parenting time and child custody going forward.

The parties should inform the court about new parenting arrangements that they made which may be in conflict with the court’s orders. A parent who wants to modify the court’s order should request a hearing on the matter. If the other parent agrees, they can support the first parent’s motion for a divorce modification in Jefferson County or wherever you live.

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