Could COVID Affect My Divorce?
Divorce is difficult no matter when it happens and no matter the reason for it. Coming to the decision to file for divorce from your spouse and to prepare for the process of dissolving your marriage isn’t an easy one. The divorce process may be contentious for both parties. You and your spouse may have made considerable progress resolving issues, like how to divide your property, child custody arrangements, and spousal support.
Then, a completely unforeseen, raging, global pandemic that will wreak havoc on the lives and health of people all over the world happens. It throws your life and your divorce into chaos and uncertainty. Scheduled divorce hearings and proceedings have been delayed. Changes to the physical and financial circumstances for spouses across the country have thrown a wrench into issues like financial support and caring for children.
Might COVID Affect My Divorce?
The pandemic can impact your divorce. How your divorce is resolved and the length of time it may take to finalize your divorce could be impacted by COVID. Likewise, determinations about spousal maintenance, child support, and even child custody could be affected due to COVID’s impact on you and your spouse’s lives.
Delays in the Divorce Process
First, it could affect the divorce process overall. If you’ve already filed for divorce and outstanding issues like division of property and spousal maintenance (support) need to be resolved by the court, hearings in your divorce case may be delayed. Especially at the beginning of the pandemic, when there was so much uncertainty about COVID-19, many courthouses shut down for an undefined amount of time. Some courts tried their best to adapt quickly by moving to virtual hearings and prioritizing electronic filing systems. But given the crowded calendars and usual backlogs in family courts during pre-pandemic times, this only caused more logjams.
Even if you and your spouse were in the middle of resolving your divorce and related issues in mediation, those proceedings may also be delayed because of widespread office closures due to the pandemic. All divorces, whether resolved in court or mediation, require a final order by the court granting the divorce.
Even though the effects of the pandemic are not as severe as in the early days, you may experience a lengthy divorce process due to an increased court backlog during the height of the pandemic that hasn’t yet been resolved.
The Financial Impact of COVID
Many people have been affected financially due to COVID. Many have experienced unemployment and work closures that have severely reduced their income. Increased financial strain can create a domino effect when calculating spousal maintenance and child support in your divorce. With both spousal and child support, Texas law states that both spouses’ income and financial status should be considered in determining who may be owed support and who should pay support.
The impact that COVID has had on your and/or your spouse’s livelihood and financial status may have to be considered when an agreement or court order is granted about providing and obtaining financial support between the two of you. If agreements have already been made or orders have already been granted, you and your spouse may have to seek modifications to those agreements or orders.
Contact the Bedford Divorce Lawyers at Hargrave Law, PC for Help with Your Divorce
The Bedford divorce lawyers at Hargrave Law, PC, have over 20 years of experience representing people in their divorces. We advocate for the best interests of our clients so they can reach the most favorable outcomes possible in their divorces. There’s a reason we’re one of the top firms in Texas for handling divorce matters: we’re dedicated to our clients and treat them with the compassion they need to get through such a trying time. We work to help you resolve your divorce and related issues so you can turn the page on this chapter of your life.
If you’re considering filing for divorce or are having difficulties during your divorce, call Hargrave Law, PC at (817) 282-0679 or complete our intake form online to schedule a meeting with one of our experienced attorneys.