The coronavirus pandemic has shut down schools and businesses throughout South Carolina. It has also resulted in reduced services among public service providers and government agencies. If you are currently involved in family court proceedings or are debating taking legal action, it is important to be aware of how this could impact your case.
Family Court Proceedings Impacted By Aiken Court Closures
Throughout the month of March, non-essential businesses throughout South Carolina were ordered to close in an effort to curb community spread of COVID-19, otherwise known as the coronavirus. On April 3, 2020, Governor Henry McMasters extended this order, including additional types of business to this list.
Many public service providers and government agencies remain open but they are operating on reduced hours and staff. They are also limiting the types of transactions they conduct in person. This includes local family courts throughout the state. As a result, this will impact the following types of family law cases:
Divorce. If you are considering getting a divorce, our attorneys can still guide you in taking preliminary steps and in filing the appropriate legal documents. We can still negotiate via phone or online meeting platforms with your former spouse and their attorney, but formal court hearings will have to be postponed. If you have already filed for a divorce in Aiken, you should expect temporary delays in obtaining a final order or judgment in your case.
Child custody and visitation. Child custody disputes can impact unmarried couples as well as those going through a divorce. If you have a child custody hearing pending, expect it to be postponed and follow our attorney’s advice on actions you can take in the interim. If you already have a South Carolina parenting plan in place, adhere to it as much as possible while still taking the precautions needed to ensure your child’s safety.
Spousal and child support. Pandemic-related closures and delayed hearings do not impact any court orders regarding spousal support or child support currently in place. If the proper amount is not paid, enforcement actions can be taken. This includes issuing warrants for arrest, garnishing wages, and seizing funds in bank accounts.
Cases involving domestic violence. If you or someone you care about is a victim of domestic violence, help is available. Despite limited hours, our Aiken family law attorneys can assist you in obtaining an order of protection through emergency hearings held through the local courts.
Other Aiken family court matters. These include grandparent or step-parent adoptions, name changes, and annulments. As in the above cases, in-person court hearings may be delayed or postponed, but there are many legal documents we can file online. We can also conduct negotiations and mediation sessions either via telephone or virtual meetings.
Reach Out To Our Aiken Family Law Attorney
Now that you know how the coronavirus pandemic may impact your Aiken family court case, if you have any questions, contact our Aiken family law attorney at Surasky Law Firm, LLC. We provide the trusted legal guidance you need in family court matters.