Yes, You Can File for Divorce while Sheltering in Place


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Brett Pritchard Law

While the entire nation is weathering a national emergency, it may seem frivolous to consider divorce. If you have come to the very difficult decision, however, that divorce is your best option, it is important to recognize that you do not have to wait to begin the process. Better understanding how to proceed may provide you with the confidence you need to take the next important steps.

The Courts

Many Texas courts are closed and many others are only hearing cases that qualify as emergencies. The State of Texas, however, has been accepting the electronic filing of legal pleadings such as your Original Petition for Divorce for many years. While you can file and can begin hammering out the specifics of your divorce as you shelter in place, it is unclear at this time when you will make it into court for your divorce to be finalized (if you need the court’s intervention).

If, on the other hand, you and your divorcing spouse are able to come to divorce terms that you can both sign off on, there is no reason that your divorce cannot be finalized in a timely manner. Courts are adopting various mechanisms for effecting finalizations that do not require personal appearances, including video conferences and signed electronic submissions.

The Details of Your Divorce

In order to take care of your divorce outside of the court, you, your spouse, and your respective attorneys will need to find terms that are acceptable to both of you as they relate to the following elements of divorce (as applicable):

  • Your child custody arrangements
  • The division of your marital property
  • Child support for your children
  • Spousal support (also known as alimony)

These are complicated issues that will have serious ramifications in your post-divorce life, and they demand careful attention. Working closely with an experienced divorce attorney will help ensure that your divorce terms work for you and your children.

Collaborative Divorce

In order to move forward with your divorce in these unprecedented times, collaborative divorce techniques are likely your best option. Collaborative divorce offers you and your divorcing spouse the ability to control all of the following:

  • You can set your own schedule and will not be at the mercy of the court’s docket.
  • You can better control your legal expenses by negotiating terms between yourselves whenever possible.
  • You make the important decisions related to your finances and custody arrangements instead of allowing a judge to do so on your behalf.

The benefits of collaborative divorce are considerable, and with the aid of your respective attorneys (in addition to a neutral mediator, if necessary), you will be able to move forward with your divorce as you shelter in place.

Discuss Your Divorce Concerns with an Experienced Lawyer Today

Although we are experiencing extraordinary times, attorney Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas, has the experience and commitment to help. With telephone meetings, video conferences, and electronic filings, there is no reason to put off the inevitable by putting your divorce on hold. We are on your side, so please contact or call us at 254-501-4040 with your questions and concerns today.

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