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by | Mar 25, 2022 | COVID-19, Divorce, Family Law

As we come out of COVID-19 restrictions, experts are looking back on how the pandemic impacted relationships, families, divorces and family court. There were many lives taken, and jobs lost, and relationships that did not thrive when put under the harsh restrictions over the last two years. However, there were some great benefits that came from work-from-home-culture, and people who were quarantined together being able to reconnect.

When the pandemic first began experts assumed that divorce rate would sky rocket. Arizona was one of a few states where that wasn’t the immediate trend. For comparison, in 2019 the divorce rate in Arizona was about 16% according to the World Population Review website. In 2022, so far, the divorce rate in Arizona is about 12%. At first there was an uptick in marital counseling and a decline in divorce. That trend may be starting to shift back to an increase in divorces as people reassume normal work schedules and busy lives. Many disputes have arisen out of the pressures of sheltering at home in close quarters, and disagreements on how to handle covid regulations and the children. Whether it was vaccines, home-school vs. public school, or masks, many parents were highly conflicted about what was/is the right choice for their children.

Covid has also impacted the court system itself. Many lawyers have shifted to fully digital operations, working primarily from home offices, and/or hosting consultations and meetings over Zoom. This has allowed for more convenience and efficiency for the clients and the attorneys. During the pandemic, almost all family court matters were handled via video conference platforms, with the Judges either at home in their judicial robes, or in their chambers alone with their staff and all clients and attorneys on a video call. Thing are now slowly returning to normal. Today, many (or most) Family Court hearings are still being held by video conference; and some courts have optional access in which both parties may agree upon their court appearances being in person or held electronically. This has also allowed for the court system to be more convenient, more efficient, and more easily accessible for people who may have children or live far from the courthouse. If you have to be at a court hearing you are likely already stressed, and having the proceeding be held over a live video platform can make things easier and alleviate some of the stress of that process.

By Maddison Koper

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