In many ways, it seems like the world stopped when COVID-19 hit. As we all adjust to stay-at-home orders and business closings, it's easy to forget that the court system has experienced a lot of disruption as well.
At Family Matters Law Group, we know how stressful a divorce or custody case can be under the best of circumstances. During this time, we want to keep you updated on what is going on with the court system and how your case is being handled during COVID-19. Please be assured that our office is open and we are doing everything we can to keep your case on track.
As of this writing, the courts in Henry, Clayton, Fayette, and Fulton Counties are all closed for non-essential business. Judicial emergency orders have been issued and as it stands, any court business deemed non-essential has been rescheduled. Any judicial deadline has been temporarily lifted as well.
If you are in an emergency situation, such as a domestic violence incident or a custody arrangement where you feel your child is in danger, you need to contact your family law attorney immediately. At Family Matters Law Group, we can give more guidance as to what your legal options are. Do not assume that help is unavailable. Your safety and your children's safety are still a top priority.
Due to the judicial emergency order, some counties have placed cases on hold. It is absolutely still possible to file for divorce, as the Courts staff are present and open to accept e-filed documents. Some courts in more populous counties are doing video and phone conferencing. However, in other counties, the Courts will not be scheduling hearings until the COVID-19 emergency has lifted and the courts resume their schedule.
This is an excellent opportunity to be proactive. If you are early in the divorce process, now that you have some time at home, use it wisely. Get your documentation together, especially all your financial documents (credit card statements, investment income, a full list of assets and debts). The office at Family Matters Law Group can provide you with a list of documents that we will need to see.
For those who are already deep in their divorce case, remember to document everything. You need to keep detailed records of important conversations and incidents. Things that happen during this stay-at-home time could be important pieces of evidence in your favor when we return to court.
Our office is still available for phone and video consultations. If you have questions or concerns about your case, or need an experienced divorce lawyer, stay in touch.
The same rules for divorce cases are doubled when it comes to custody. Ask yourself key questions about your children while they are not attending school:
If your answer is "No" to any of these questions, you need to give our office a call.
If you feel that your child is in an unsafe situation, you must reach out to our office so that we can determine what the next legal steps are. Even though custody hearings in some counties are temporarily on hold, it is important that you document everything that is going on with your children as it may prove essential in your custody case later.
If you are a father seeking custody or visitation rights, it is unfortunate that the courts are not hearing those petitions at this time. However, you can still document your interactions with your child and keep those records for a legitimation petition when the courts reopen.
Just because the courts are temporarily closed for non-essential business doesn't mean our office is shut down. Family Matters Law Group is still scheduling consultations and taking on new clients. If you have an ongoing case with our firm, and you have questions or concerns about your case, do not hesitate to reach out and schedule an appointment.
The COVID-19 situation is a big adjustment for us all. Now is the time to think about the safety of yourself and your family, as well as your job and the education of your children. Let us worry about your court case. We promise that we will be ready to hit the ground running as soon as the courts are back open, and we assure you that we will seek relief for any emergencies that arise until then.
Family Matters Law Group thanks you for trusting us with your case, and we hope everyone stays safe. There is a light at the end of this tunnel.
Call us today with your questions! 678-545-2118