China has reported an increase in divorce filings in the wake of their quarantine orders put in place as a result of COVID-19. This begs the question of whether Colorado (and the US) could see similar increases. By now most of us have probably heard from one or more friends or family members lamenting our new, but hopefully only temporary, normal for a variety of reasons. Although these public health measures are necessary at this time, they also bring with them a variety of consequences.
With the wide-spread public safety measures enacted, including stay-at-home orders at both the county and state level, many may find themselves at home with a partner and being faced with an already unhappy or unhealthy relationship that has only been exacerbated by these unprecedented times we find ourselves in now. Throw in economic uncertainty and the added responsibilities of being not only parent, but school teacher as well for many, and it is not at all surprising that one potential outcome is an increase in the number of people seeking divorces.
On one end of the spectrum may be people experiencing a whole new level of annoyance with their partners that may contribute toward a desire to divorce, and on the other end of the spectrum may be people experiencing an increased risk of domestic violence or actual domestic violence.
We have devoted a section of our blog to providing resources on domestic violence, particularly in light of COVID-19. You can access those resources here.
If you are thinking of pursuing a divorce, the Colorado Courts are accepting new filings, even though they are operating on a limited basis at this time. Under Colorado law, the soonest a decree of dissolution of marriage can enter is 91 days after the Colorado Court has obtained jurisdiction over the person who did not initiate the filing—either by personally serving that party or by that party joining a Co-Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. However, it is not at all uncommon for the dissolution process to take longer than 91 days. It may be too early to say with any certainty how or whether the timeline for obtaining a divorce will be impacted by COVID-19 related limitations on the Court’s docket.
Divorce is not to be entered into lightly. The decision to pursue a divorce is a personal decision worthy of thoughtful contemplation. If you have made the decision to seek a divorce, attorneys at The Harris Law Firm are available to assist. Contact us to discuss your needs with a member of our team.