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How Has COVID-19 Affected Divorce Cases?

The last several months have been an unusual time for Americans, who have seen their everyday lives completely upturned as a result of the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. One area in which the pandemic has had a significant effect is on marriages and the divorce process.

Experts had predicted there would be a significant increase in the divorce rate due to people in bad marriages being locked down together for much more time in a given week than normal, as many people lost their jobs or were forced to work from home. While we have not yet seen this surge in cases, this could be in part because of the extra challenges has posed for people looking to go through with a divorce.

Here are a few of the ways in which the pandemic has affected divorce cases in America:

  • Court closures: Many state courts have been closed for all non-essential cases and hearings, which typically includes divorce-related matters. They remain open for pressing needs like issuing emergency protective orders, but many divorce-related hearings are delayed. 
  • Mediation: Mediation is still an option for divorcing couples, but sessions will likely occur online. There are some pros and cons to this—some people prefer in-person meetings, but e-mediation definitely offers extra convenience and time savings, and can help level the playing field a bit. 
  • Asset division: It can be difficult to determine what people’s assets will be worth in the coming months, as we’re still in the middle of unpredictable pandemic-related economic turbulence. This makes the asset division process a bit more complicated than usual.
  • Renegotiation: For people who have lost their jobs or had their income drop, they must file motions to modify their child support or alimony payments. However, it can be difficult to have this motion processed quickly due to court closures. Courts will likely be receptive to these changes when they’re open and able to process these motions, but delays may put payers in a difficult financial spot for now.

For more information about the effects of the pandemic on divorce cases, contact an experienced Minneapolis divorce lawyer at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.

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  • "Mary from APH Law helped me thru a difficult divorce. She and the entire staff was there for me every step of the way helping me on what to do next. They listened to what I wanted and helped me achieve what matter the most to me in the divorce settlement." - Dana C.

  • "I chose APH after my initial consultation with Mary. I felt my best interest would be represented. The entire process went excellent, the attorneys and staff communicated effectively and efficiently with me throughout the process as they needed to. Being new to the legal process and verbiage, they walked me and talked me through the next steps and the jargon, I felt completely comfortable and represented. I hope I never have to use legal services again but if I do I will call Mary at APH Law and know that I will be taken care of." - Jeff M.

  • "Divorce is a time of emotion and stress. Mary Pfeifer , My lawyer was professional and compassionate. She was very informative through the process. Her insight helped me in my decisions. She worked hard to obtain a settlement which was fair to both parties. Though, I hope I won't need her help again. It is reassuring to know a good person that is willing to help." - Rod S.

  • "I first came to Ms. Jacquelyn Lutz of Appelhof, Pfeifer and Hart in October of 2016. It was definitely the worst time in my life and she compassionately spoke with me about my options. Ms. Lutz thoroughly explained the laws, statutes, process and what to expect going forward. What was supposed to be one case, turned into three intricate cases that took a huge toll on me and my family. Ms. Lutz represented me in court on all three cases with a vast knowledge of the laws and how to proceed accordingly. During all three cases she kept me informed, calm, gave me resources to utilize, and (most important) gave me a realistic view of what may come next. Ms. Lutz knew each case required a great deal of knowledge and creative thinking on how to legally proceed forward with each case. My family and friends are forever grateful for the amazing representation by Ms. Lutz. I highly recommend Ms. Lutz for anyone needing or considering superb representation for any kind of family law. " - M.H.


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