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New Family Court Procedures

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the Judicial Branch has been working hard to develop new procedures in the family court. We now have the ability to resolve cases while the courts still remain largely closed. These procedures are being implemented in an effort to move cases through the court system and reduce some of the backlog that the courts will face upon reopening.

Parties can continue to submit agreements to the court for approval without the need to be physically present. This includes judgment on uncontested divorces, judgment on custody/visitation cases and full agreements that would resolve a pending motion. Information on procedure and required forms can be found at: Some court forms have been recently updated (as of June 2020) to include more extensive and comprehensive details such as the Dissolution Agreement Form JD-FM-172.

Effective May 11, 2020 family pretrials and status conferences will be held remotely. You will first receive a notice of the scheduled date. The notice will provide contact information for a court employee to whom you then send your preferred email address. Participation instructions will be forwarded to that email address.

Effective June 24, 2020 judges in the family courts will begin holding video court hearings. These hearings will be held via Microsoft Teams and just as the virtual pretrials and status conferences that have been held for the past month, notices will be sent from the court requesting the participant’s preferred email address. The court will then send participation instructions to that email address. Participants will be required to participate via video but if they are unable to they may request permission to participate telephonically. Matters which will require no more than one hour of court time will be scheduled first. Matters that may require several witnesses or significant documentary evidence will be scheduled at a later date.

Our family law attorneys at BPS are staying up to date on all new developments within the Judicial Branch. We anticipate that some of these changes will be made permanent even after the pandemic clears, and we are readily available to answer any questions you may have.