Although the most intense period of COVID-19 is hopefully behind us, the fear of contracting this virus still exists, and it can affect court proceedings, including in the realm of family law. The pandemic has changed a lot about how courts operate, so someone who is concerned about their health can potentially be granted a virtual hearing in a divorce case. The team at Colwell Law is experienced in this new development and can provide guidance on how to navigate a divorce or other family law-related issue without putting yourself at risk.
What Options Are There for Someone Who Has a Fear of Being Exposed to COVID?
A person can advise their attorney to tell the court that they are an at-risk individual and a lawyer can then ask the court for them to appear virtually.
Someone who is immunocompromised or in some other way at risk of COVID could request a virtual hearing – though they may need to have some documentary backup from a doctor in the court tries to push back against it.
In certain cases, courts will just call people over the phone, so a visual component might not even be necessary. This can happen with any combination of individuals involved in the proceeding, even to the point where the judge might be the only person appearing remotely.
If someone is exposed to, or contracts COVID within 10 days of a court appearance, they should email their lawyer a copy of their positive test result so that they can notify the court to potentially make the appearance virtual. It is possible to request an adjournment of the court date and get a new date so that the person can recover.
If a child was going to make a court appearance but they contract COVID, an adjournment would be requested right away. If the child is the paramount reason for the hearing, the court will simply reschedule until such a time that the child is healthy enough to appear.
Contact Us for Help
You do not have to risk exposure in order to complete a divorce. Many courts can accommodate this through the use of virtual courtrooms. If you require experienced legal counsel to guide you through this proceeding, call us to schedule a consultation.