Current Snapshot of Divorce in the Time of COVID-19

On Behalf of | May 11, 2022 | Divorce

Due to the evolving response to COVID-19 and safety recommendations, King County Superior Court has been issuing various orders altering the way family law cases move through the court.  Below are some common questions regarding the dissolution process during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Our answers below reflect information as of March 27, 2020.  Future orders issued by King County Superior Court and state and federal courts may change these answers.

If you need legal advice, please contact one of our family law attorneys today at 206-569-5346.  The below questions are only for cases filed with King County.  For information regarding cases in other counties, we recommend contacting that county’s clerk’s office.

Can I still file for divorce right now?

Yes, in King County a Petition for Divorce is filed with the court electronically. Meridian Family Law can obtain your signatures on the initial pleadings required to file a divorce petition electronically as well.

What if I need Temporary Orders filed to protect assets?

When a Petition for Divorce is filed, the King County Superior Court automatically issues a Temporary Order Setting Financial Restraints on both parties.  This Temporary Order prevents either party from moving or changing assets without consent of the other party.  Normal, everyday transactions such as mortgage payments are allowed.  Other types of temporary orders, such as a temporary parenting plan, would need to be done by motion unless there is an agreement between the parties.  The motion process in King County has been changing in response to the pandemic.

What if I need a Domestic Violence Protection Order?

On March 20, 2020 King County Superior Court announced that all hearings, including Domestic Violence Protection hearings, will be heard telephonically.  If you believe you need a Protection Order, please contact an attorney for the next steps.

What if the 90 day waiting period happens during shelter-in-place?  Can I still finalize my divorce?

In King County, most agreed Final Divorce Orders can be presented to Ex Parte for entry electronically as well.  Ex Parte hearings traditionally are a type of hearing where one of the parties is not present. If 90 days have elapsed since Service of the Petition for Divorce was signed, please contact an attorney for assistance finalizing your divorce matter.

As the situation with the response to COVID-19 is ever-changing, updates regarding King County’s court rules and operations in general can be found here and updates related to Family law matters can be found here.

Nothing on this page is intended as legal advice for an individual.

Call us now to learn more about how we can assist you in your specific situation.