In recent weeks, the world has drastically changed. While we’re all learning to navigate a new way of life that involves social distancing, the world keeps spinning and families will still need legal help. Many of our clients have asked us questions about how COVID-19 will affect their divorce cases. The most frequently asked question we receive is: I need to file for divorce, but can or should I do that during a pandemic? Although information on the virus is changing daily, we’re working swiftly to stay apprised to these ongoing changes and how they’re affecting divorce matters.
Here’s what we know:
- Divorce rates will increase. With social distancing governing day-to-day lives, and with families living 24/7 in close quarters, we will see a major increase in divorce filings. Historically, divorce rates have increased during worldwide crises and this will be no different.
- Filing for divorce now will get you ahead of a court backlog. Simultaneously, to practice social distancing, courts are limiting the number of hearings taking place. Because of these restrictions, there will be a backlog of divorce matters in queue. If you know you want to be divorced in the coming year, now is the time to file. Beating the backlog will increase your likelihood of getting divorced in 2020!
- Filing for divorce now will protect your financial liability. According to Arizona law, your marital community and its’ associated assets and debts exists from the date of marriage to the date of service of a divorce petition to the other party. What does that mean for you? If you file for divorce now, your liability for your spouse’s financial choices will terminate once they have been served with divorce papers. With the uncertain nature of our economy, filing for divorce may be crucial for protecting you from bad or poor financial behavior and choices of your soon-to-be ex.
If you’re considering or currently going through a divorce, contact the attorneys at OWENS & PERKINS by clicking here or by calling our office at 480.630.2464 to schedule your FREE 30 minute consultation. We remain fully operational while practicing appropriate social distancing and cleaning regimes.