Couples who were delaying divorce in Brooklyn and other nearby boroughs and counties were able to start filing and separating as of May 25th. The declaration came as coronavirus restrictions began to ease and many anticipated that a wave of divorces would begin as couples who were locked inside together for months began to realize how little they actually enjoyed each other’s company. 

Courts begin to open again and accept new cases as pandemic winds down

An announcement was made that couples seeking divorces and others ready to sue each other in parts of New York City would be able to start at the end of May of 2020. The Chief Administrative Judge for the city said that they would begin to process paperwork and filings related to various cases, including family law issues. The announcement said that the electronic filing system called NYSCEF would start processing all kinds of non-emergency cases. Most cases, regardless of the situation, had been considered non-essential during the coronavirus stay at home orders, as New York was hit harder than any other state in the country with coronavirus infections and deaths. 

The filing restrictions would even be lifted in counties not included in the governor’s broad reopening plan. People filing their own cases and representing themselves without an attorney would be allowed to resume their legal matters as well, but they would be required to use and receive paper documentation rather than the electronic system. 

This order opens up the courts for New York City’s five boroughs, as well as Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Orange, Putnam, and other nearby counties.

Divorce filings and the coronavirus

A national issue during the coronavirus restrictions was an increase of marital problems and domestic violence. For months there was speculation that many people would be getting divorced as soon as possible after the pandemic ended. Anecdotal evidence was reported around the country of couples who decided that they no longer wanted to be together after spending so much time around each other without a break. Others stated that they simply realized that they had nothing in common and their personalities just did not match.

No fault divorces

Regardless of the reasons for separation, New Yorkers are eligible for a no fault divorce. The state was the last to allow this type of legal separation, but since 2010, New Yorkers can essentially say that they want to separate for any reason at all. The courts will accept their desire to end the marriage as enough of a legal reason to begin the process. Traditional fault grounds included adultery, abandonment, imprisonment, and mental incapacity. Proving that one or both spouses were engaged in these behaviors tended to slow down the separation process. 

Speak with a Brooklyn divorce lawyer

There are attorneys who can help you formally end your marriage in New York. To get immediate help, contact:

Elliot Green Law Offices

32 Court Street, Suite 404, Brooklyn, NY, 11201


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