The coronavirus pandemic is putting a lot of pressure on everybody, including families that are spending substantially more time than usual with each other. Stuck together 24/7 for weeks on end, even spouses in rock-solid marriages are feeling some marital pressure. You may love your spouse, but that doesn’t mean you want to interact with them all-day, every day. For most couples, marital counseling can be enough to help them get through this period. If counseling is not effective, you still have the same legal rights to separation and divorce as you normally would; however, because of court closures, divorces are not proceeding as normal until the courts resume their regular operations.
If the pandemic is causing extra strain on your relationship, just be aware that many other couples are experiencing the same thing. Many couples – even those who would not consider their relationship issues very serious problems – benefit from marital counseling. If you have not yet tried marital counseling, this is a good time to do so. A marital counseling session in which you can voice your feelings and get feedback from the counselor can be helpful. Many marital counselors are conducting remote counseling sessions to help people during this difficult time.
Legal Rights and Access to Courts
Texas courts are largely closed due to the pandemic. While it may be possible to file divorce papers in your local court to initiate the process, no divorce proceeding will be conducted unless it is submitted as an agreed order, until the courts get back to normal. Practically, a divorce can be filed now in order to start the 60-day minimum waiting period, but will only be able to proceed and be finalized if the couple is willing to try alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation or collaborative divorce.
It is important to note that Texas courts are still open to handle emergencies. If you or other family members are in danger because of domestic violence or abuse, know that the police and the court system are still functioning to protect you.
If you would like to discuss your legal options with a qualified family law attorney, Paula Lock Smyth Law Offices offers free consultations remotely, via telephone or video conferencing, during this pandemic.
For More Information About Divorce, Contact an Experienced Dallas Family Law Attorney.