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Divorce Stalled by Covid

Westway posted 5/26/2020 09:23 AM

So last week the county where I live announced that the government services will be slowly ramping back up. On Friday, I called a friend of a friend of a person who works for a friend at the courthouse. My D petition hasn't moved one inch since it was filed over three months ago.

Has anyone else had their divorce proceedings stalled by this Covid 19 muddying up the system?

thatbpguy posted 5/26/2020 10:14 AM

As a risk manager, I work with the court systems in many states. They are all slowed and backed up. As they reopen (so to speak), criminal matters will have priority. Sorry to say, but settle in for a wait.

Westway posted 5/26/2020 10:43 AM

That is what I was told also.

Do you know if they allow change of venue so that smaller, less backed-up counties can review divorce petitions?

Curious9 posted 5/26/2020 13:34 PM

That really has to be painful. I think you would be best for now to just focus on the things you can change in your life and when it comes through it will be a pleasant surprise.

Hopefully your stbxw is leaving you alone through all this. I know you will feel a lot better when its completed but sometimes you just have to wait it out.


Tron posted 5/26/2020 14:34 PM

That is what I was told also.
Do you know if they allow change of venue so that smaller, less backed-up counties can review divorce petitions?

Only if another county has jurisdiction over you or your wife. And if she agrees.

That would mean that you or her would have established residency in one of those other counties for a set period time that the state rules require.

Note, that it might take as long for the current court to schedule and hear the motion to transfer venue as it would take to get in line for the D proceeding.

Catwoman posted 5/26/2020 15:29 PM

This has been many, MANY years ago, but in one state in which I lived, you could file in any county in that state. My attorney wanted to file about an hour away, but in discussing this with his colleagues in that particular county, he discovered that this was a practice that was being discouraged.

You also run the risk of your attorney appearing before a judge and court with which they are unfamiliar. This does not work in your favor.

Did you have an initial hearing date at all? If there was nothing on the calendar, you can ask your attorney to get on the calendar. However, if you have no progress (i.e. the other party hasn't produced requested documentation, etc.), it doesnt make any sense to pay your attorney for a court appearance just to hear the other side say they're "working on it."

Do you know if you have petitioned for the other party to produce documentation and whether or not that has happened yet?

Status is not always determined by a court appearance. The attorneys are usually working behind the scenes to gather information and start working on a settlement proposal.


Ratpicker posted 5/26/2020 18:29 PM

I experienced what thatbpguy describes. Obviously not due to COVID. My cheatin' s4b got caught at the same time as 2 of the 4 Superior Court judges got caught & had to resign. So our circuit was at 50% capacity until the governor appointed 2 new judges. That process took months. There was quite a backlog and all criminal cases had priority because by constitution they are guaranteed a speedy trial. S4b demanded a jury trial which always takes a long time and every round went to criminal cases for 2 years. If settlement can be reached, judges might streamline those. I wouldn't hold my breath, you'll turn blue waiting! Sorry you are in this situation.

[This message edited by Ratpicker at 6:30 PM, May 26th (Tuesday)]

Ratpicker posted 5/26/2020 18:35 PM

Adding another factor in my situation (above) but don't know how it may play out with COVID shutdown. While our courts were sluggish, the divorce attorneys were sitting at their desks, bored. They all ended up taking on more clients than if they had been spending half their time at the courthouse. So when things started to gin up - the attorneys had conflict after conflict. In that case, the older cases get priority if it is both for hearings. A trial date takes priority over a hearing but it sure clogged things up.

messyleslie posted 5/26/2020 22:44 PM

My attorney told me that court dates are now being scheduled in spring of next year. So if you need to go in front of a judge itís going to take forever - but that if you are able to settle out of court that judges are signing orders super fast and things outside of court are moving quickly.

She seemed to think it would really encourage a lot of people to settle out of court!

Phoenix1 posted 5/27/2020 00:19 AM

My DD's divorce was held up. Then, out of the blue she was contacted via letter from the court and basically told if they agree to free mediation (conducted by phone and email) and reach agreement, they will get a quick telephonic hearing to rubberstamp the agreement.

They are in agreement and telephonic hearing scheduled for this Thursday. Was told it would be about 5 minutes for both to affirm their agreement and it's done.

DD was afraid it was going to drag on for months and was pleasantly surprised.

Contested cases, however, could get delayed months.

The1stWife posted 5/29/2020 07:17 AM

Westway. Doesnít her family have any connections?

QVee posted 5/29/2020 11:47 AM

A coworker of mine was told basically the same thing as your daughter, phoenix.

Louisianalisa posted 5/29/2020 22:16 PM

Westway, my D was stalled just like yours. It was set to be finalized on April 9th, but was cancelled a week before that. Our request for a rescheduled date is on hold for now, and it is uncontested, so it really should be pushed to the front of the line soon. I just called the courthouse yesterday for a status update and they said our paperwork is in the pile, with no date set yet. No forward motion at all. I would like this closure soon!

On a positive note, my second cataract surgery finally happened last week! The second surgery was cancelled, and there ended up being nine weeks between the two eye surgeries. So, if I can get closure with that, then I am optimistic about the D.

[This message edited by Louisianalisa at 10:17 PM, May 29th (Friday)]

Buffer posted 5/31/2020 03:27 AM

Brother, that sucks. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel and it isnít a train coming your way, but your new life!
One day at a time

[This message edited by Buffer at 3:28 AM, May 31st (Sunday)]

sadone29 posted 6/3/2020 18:20 PM

Yeah, mine too! There are no judges working in my city right now.

I waited 7 long years, and I choose a pandemic to want to start the process! lol!

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