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Divorce In New York – To File Or Not To File During The Pandemic

Divorce in New York – To File or Not to File During the Pandemic

There is no one-size-fits-all all answer.  The answer will be different for each couple or family.  Some may come together in crisis and realize that there is more worth saving in their marriage in the bigger picture than they had thought.  But in other cases, cases where there has been long term physical or emotional abuse, even fighting the common COVID-19 enemy will not render staying together healthy.  If you are confident that leaving the marriage is the right and sound decision for your family, this may well be an opportune time to consult an attorney.

With Courts closed and attorneys’ Court calendars lighter than normal, this might be an excellent time to get started.  Here’s why. The Complaint that commences a divorce action is not a particularly time-intensive document to prepare and file.  So if your divorce has no complex issues placing on hold until the Courts reopen might not prejudice you.  On the other hand, if your case involves complex issues of abuse, hidden assets, a contested custody dispute, the need for temporary relief such as immediate spousal maintenance or child support, you will need your counsel to draft what is called a pendent lite motion (a Motion for relief pending the action).  This motion is quite time-intensive.  It requires the draft of a sworn affidavit you prepare with your counsel’s assistance supported by documentary exhibits that you and your counsel prepare and assemble.

Despite the fact that the Courts are temporarily closed to hear cases, other than emergency cases, it is expected that filings can still be made.  When the virus wanes it can be expected that divorce attorneys will be inundated with parties that waited to commence their actions and a backup to see your papers completed and filed will be likely.  Once filed the Courts will address the filings in a first-filed, first-addressed, manner.

If your case is time-sensitive, it might be advantageous for you to use some of the time you are housebound to work with your attorney on preparation of the motion to seek interim immediate relief.  Some attorneys might even offer hourly discounts on their rates during the pandemic, to spread the workload, recognizing that they will be inundated with calls when the pandemic wanes.

Discuss Your COVID-19 Divorce Issues with an Experienced New York Divorce Lawyer

While we wish you all the very best and the very happiest, we also recognize that sometimes, things just don’t work out.  For those moments, you’ll want an experienced New York divorce lawyer with a proven track record on your side. Contact The Mandel Law Firm at (646) 770-3868 today to speak with a skilled divorce attorney. You can also reach a member of our legal team via online message at [email protected] or by completing one of our contact forms.

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