Can I Still File for Divorce in Kane County Amidst COVID-19?
With COVID-19 and social distancing orders still duly present throughout the U.S., especially in Illinois, many families have spent months together in close-quarters. For some, this time in quarantine has brought spouses and their children closer than ever. For others, the time together has only reaffirmed their thoughts of filing for divorce. Because the pandemic came on so suddenly, with businesses closing their doors at a moment’s notice, those who were considering divorce or were even in the middle of divorce proceedings may have had to put their plans on hold for the past few months.
Luckily, attorneys were deemed essential workers and many law firms remained open, either physically or virtually, to continue working with clients. Courthouses, including Kane County courts, closed for a period of time to protect their employees and avoid infecting those coming in and out of the courthouse for their legal proceedings. As Illinois public health orders have progressed from one phase to the next, the Kane County courthouses have reopened at limited capacity.
The 16th Judicial Circuit, also known as the Kane County court system, announced its first phase of reopening on June 1, 2020. Though the court reopened on that date, all jury trials were suspended until August 3, 2020. This date has now come and gone, but most family court cases are continuing to happen on a remote basis. These remote proceedings are occurring over Zoom, with each spouse’s attorney present and a judge logged in as well. Common divorce proceedings and parenting determinations are being performed over Zoom, but more contentious proceedings, such as domestic violence cases, may be brought back to the courtroom.
- For those having their legal proceedings occur in person, the Kane County court system has put a number of COVID-19 safety regulations in place:
- Everyone entering the building must wear a mask or face covering. For those who do not come with their own mask in hand, the court will provide you with a facial covering.
- Anyone entering the building will have their temperature taken and be asked a series of questions regarding their current health status.
- Childcare will no longer be offered at any of the court locations, for the time being.
- Social distancing guidelines will be followed in each courthouse, including marked seats and pathways.
- The number of people in the court will be significantly reduced to adhere to social distancing recommendations. Many cases will be done remotely and cases conducted in person will be staggered throughout the day to limit the number of people present.
- Those who are not required in court at the moment may be asked to remain in their car to keep the number of people in the court down to a minimum.
Contact a Kane County Divorce Lawyer
Even though divorce proceedings are happening virtually, your need for an experienced divorce attorney has not changed. Van Larson Law, P.C. is continuing to assist clients even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Attorney Larson applies his 39 years of litigation and trial experience to successfully represent his clients regardless of how the proceedings are done. If you are considering filing for divorce but are unsure how that can be done during these times, contact our Batavia divorce attorney at 630-879-9090 for guidance.