Last year’s COVID-19 pandemic created upheaval in so many different ways. It placed additional stress on married couples that may have been struggling to hold onto their marriage from a familial perspective. From a legal perspective, the pandemic forced the Texas Family Court system to dramatically shift to virtual court hearings.
Some counties in Texas handled the technological changes better than others. Because I spend a considerable amount of time working on divorce cases in Fort Bend County, I have gained a unique insight into how things have changed when filing for divorce in Fort Bend County.
Plus, the Texas Supreme Court recently approved changes to the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure that apply to divorce cases in our state. The changes became effective on January 1, 2021, creating another layer of changes for family law attorneys to work through to best serve our clients.
As we assess changes to divorce proceedings throughout the state of Texas, it’s important to take note of the primary changes in the post-pandemic environment. These changes may affect your decision-making relating to filing for divorce in Missouri City, Sugar Land, Richmond, Rosenberg, Fulshear, or Pecan Grove and other surrounding neighborhoods in Fort Bend County.
Divorce Changes Introduced by the COVID-19 Pandemic
In a typical year, there is a seasonal pattern of when individuals seriously consider filing for divorce. Many couples try to make it through the holiday season before deciding to formally pursue actions to dissolve the marriage.
COVID-19 changed the pattern and intensified thoughts about divorce before and during the holiday season because of the increased stress for many couples. Trying to balance work-from-home schedules, new routines, schooling for the children, disputes over simple or large matters, and other stressors started to build up over time. For many couples, unfortunately, divorce seemed like the best option.
The challenge is that because Texas’ family court system is backed up with case load following the COVID-19 disruption and transition to virtual hearings, it can take even longer to legally process and finalize a divorce. Meanwhile, tension will continue to mount inside the home or couples may struggle with new living arrangements while separated.
That’s why it’s important when filing for divorce in Fort Bend County that you make absolutely sure that this is the best option. You can talk to me about your specific case to find legal support from a Texas family law expert as you are trying to make a decision about dissolving the marriage.
Divorce Changes That Became Effective on January 1, 2021
An additional change affecting divorce proceedings in Texas was a change in the law that took effect at the beginning of the year. The changes apply to the Initial Disclosures aspect of filing for divorce.
Now, couples that formally proceed with divorce must disclose pertinent information up front. In other words, couples should not wait for a legal request for discovery to disclose things such as financial records, bank statements, and tax returns.
This amendment aims to speed up the divorce process by requesting that both parties provide full disclosure about financial positions upfront at the beginning. This way, the divorce case won’t drag out as long in the courts.
This will take time to smooth out, as one party may be surprised to receive a divorce notice and may not be prepared to provide documents and records. It’s something I am working with each client on a case-by-case basis when filing for divorce.
Find Legal Representation for a Divorce in Fort Bend County
Divorce is difficult and it affects couples and children differently. That’s why I recommend working with an experienced family law attorney to support your case so that you can focus on mending affected relationships and providing care to hurting family members.
Call my offices at 281-944-5485 or 979-267-7660 to discuss your divorce situation. I’ll walk you through some of the post-pandemic changes that may affect your divorce proceeding. I look forward to providing you with legal representation when filing for divorce in Fort Bend County.