Family Court During COVID-19

Conflicts between separated parents during the COVID-19 pandemic

The family courts in New Jersey have closed their facilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and most parents with child custody agreements are not sure how to proceed. While employees and agents of the court are working from home, every issue before the court will progress slowly. Any divorce that was filed before the COVID-19 pandemic may be delayed for quite some time, and you need to understand how to carry on under these unique circumstances.

The New Jersey court system is closed until further notice, and most municipal court buildings are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This means that any litigation has effectively stopped until the courts can reopen. At the same time, parents may not know how to handle child support or child custody. Divorcing parents may not understand how they should proceed, and the following tips will help you behave appropriately during the lockdown.

How Should Parents Address the Current Lockdown?

  • Child custody agreements remain active during the lockdown. If parents can reasonably reach their children, the custody arrangement should not be altered in any way.
  • If a parent has been exposed to COVID-19, the parents should agree to a self-quarantine period.
  • Child support payments should be made through the local court’s website.
  • Child support payments will be mailed out as normal.

Child custody agreements can be filed with the court, and you may begin to share custody with your spouse even during COVID-19. While you should abide by any curfews that have been set, you should try to make the transition as seamless as possible for your children.

Keep in mind that the court will know if you did not make child support payments. If you have not abided by your child custody agreement to a reasonable degree, the court will hear all complaints from your ex-spouse’s attorney. You can still make some progress on your divorce even if the courts are closed, and you should assume that the court will take action if you are egregiously violating an existing divorce decree.

What if the Matter is Urgent?

Parents who wish to address an urgent matter with the court should ask one of our lawyers to request an emergency hearing. In many cases, these hearings can be held virtually with the judge. This situation presents many challenges, but the court will err on the side of safety and justice for families in New Jersey.

Woodbridge Divorce Lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. Help Clients During the COVID-19 Pandemic

If you have concerns pertaining to your divorce, contact the Woodbridge divorce lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. We offer immediate support during the COVID-19 pandemic. Call us today at 908-575-9777 or contact us online for a free consultation. With offices in Somerville and Morristown, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout Somerset, Woodbridge, Morristown, Parsippany, Rockaway, Short Hills, Chatham, Randolph, Madison, and Morris Plains.