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Family Court During COVID-19

With the courts limiting matters being heard to that of only the specified essential matters, those who are experiencing issues that would be heard in family court are wondering if their matters would be heard or would need to be wait to be filed. There are a few matters in family court that qualify as essential matters and will still be heard even with the limited proceedings.

For example, if there is a child protection intake case that involves a removal application, the matter can still be filed and heard before the court. It is up to the court’s discretion if they will be hearing the matter in person or via video conference as most courts are electing to do. If the court appearance is by video conference, the parties and their attorneys will be given a link to a video conference prior to the date of the appearance and will be expected to make accommodations to be able to access the link with appropriate technology to connect to the court. Even though the court appearance would be over video conference, normal court protocols are expected to be followed, such as proper attire as well as how to conduct oneself.

If there is an emergency family offense petition or temporary order of protection that needs to be filed, the court will allow these as well. This is incredibly important for those whose living situations may not be the most stable and the stay at home orders are creating potentially dangerous situations. If you or a loved one are currently in a situation where the stay at home orders are placing you at risk of personal harm due to the actions of another, contact our office right away to discuss filing an emergency application for an order of protection to ensure your safety.

Essential matters also include the filings of orders to show cause in family matters which can be for matters that deal with custody or child support issues as well as orders of protection. The court wants to make sure that those who need immediate injunction or relief are still able to reach out to the court for their emergency matters, but it is incredibly important that during this time you also seek the consult of an attorney to guide you with making sure that what needs to be filed is done so properly.

At Tilem & Associates, our attorneys are well versed on how to draft and submit these emergency applications and essential matters. We are here to assist you with the necessary drafting and filing of documents that apply to your situation and are here to help to make sure that your family is safe and healthy during this confusing time. If you believe that what you are filing qualifies as an essential matter, call our office today to discuss the situation and decide on the best course of action moving forward. We are here to answer whatever questions you may have about your situation and are prepared to help you in whichever way possible.

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