COVID-19: Family Law Resources

Stay up to date with the latest information about how the pandemic is affecting the family court system and those it serves.

You can take action now to resolve your legal matter during the COVID-19 crisis.

Doing so will likely be beneficial to your case moving forward. It is important to know the options available to you right now, and how to best proceed.

News & Resources

We’re here to help with court information, safety tips, and even a little humor during these trying times.

You Can Take Action Now

The courts are open

The courts are open during the pandemic, albeit in a limited capacity. All courts are hearing emergency matters for child custody and domestic violence restraining orders. Some courts are accepting filings for non-emergency matters, and others are accepting and processing documents.

Whatever your issue is, do not delay taking action toward resolving your matter.

Avoid the ripple effect of court delays

It is important to act now because you can take steps now to mitigate the ripple effect of court delays that the pandemic is causing. For example, filing your documents now may preserve your hearing date. Sending your documents for receipt by the court now may preserve your place in line for filing.

At a minimum, it may benefit you to prepare your documents for immediate filing upon the conclusion of the pandemic. Your action plan will vary depending on the specific facts of your case and the county where you file.

Save your place in line

Waiting to take action can cause a substantial delay to your case. Your case will be set for hearing after those who did not wait.

Filing now, if possible, you also may be able to preserve important rights for yourself, like “retroactivity” in support matters. You should be discussing with your attorney whether this is an option for you.

If your county is not accepting filings, but it is accepting the receipt of documents, it is important to speak with your attorney about your options in submitting your documents for processing now. This will help to secure your place in line so that you can avoid additional delays caused by the anticipated congestion and rush filings which will inevitably occur when courts begin operating at their full capacities again.

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Courthouse Updates

Superior Courts in California have limited operations during the outbreak. Learn what this means for your case. Click or tap on your county for the latest information.

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Frequently Asked Questions

We know that families have many questions about how the pandemic affects their family law matters. Our attorneys have provided insights to address some of the common pain points that many are experiencing right now.

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Inside Holstrom, Block & Parke

In adhering to social distancing guidelines that keep our staff and clients safe from coronavirus, we are working remotely and meeting with clients using teleconferencing technology. Here’s a look inside our home offices and our four-legged friends.


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Recommended Reading

It’s important to understand the social impacts of what we are currently living through. The news features below provide insight into the phenomena that arise during this unprecedented time.

We’ll continue to curate information found online and deliver it here, in a filtered view for easy consumption.

For Divorced Parents, a Time to Work Together

“The pandemic’s challenges and anxieties are helping some ex-spouses overcome old tensions for their children’s sake.”

Robert and his ex-wife have been divorced for 13 years, during which time they have largely parented their 15-year-old son in a parallel fashion. They communicate exclusively by email and only about the most important matters—medical appointments, notices from school. The rest remains undiscussed. “I’ve tried for ages to encourage more active joint decision-making,” says Robert, a graphic designer near Boston.

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Courtesy of The Wall Street Journal

‘I got my kids’: How one woman fled domestic violence during coronavirus pandemic

When the new coronavirus initially hit Colorado in early March, many flocked to grocery stores and cleared shelves, preparing for the potential of hunkering down in their homes. But for Jeara and her four young children, those first days of the virus looked a little different.

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Courtesy of USA Today

Domestic abuse victims in ‘worst-case scenario’ during outbreak, providers say

One evening last week, a 38-year-old woman showed up in the emergency room of a Los Angeles hospital. She had been beaten by her boyfriend.

Under normal circumstances, the hospital would contact a domestic violence advocate, who would meet with the woman in person and help her find shelter and other services.

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Courtesy of The Los Angeles Times

For victims of relationship violence, staying home isn’t always safer

As all of us across California are urged to avoid public spaces to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), staying home for victims of relationship violence can be just as dangerous. What do you do if you’re trapped in the most terrifying place — your own home?

COVID-19 restrictions are creating the perfect storm for spikes in relationship violence between intimate partners and families. Start with an already abusive relationship, add stay-at-home mandates, the financial stress of unemployment, school closures and more, and we see increased rates of relationship violence across the board, with victims separated from the people and resources they need most.

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Courtesy of The Orange County Register

Parents can make joint custody work during a pandemic

So, here’s a legal pickle: Mom and dad are divorced, and their child spends every other weekend and Wednesday nights with dad.

The virus hit and the governor of California puts a stay-at-home order into effect while the child is at dad’s house. Mom asks dad to bring him home when his weekend is over and dad says no, the new requirement is for nobody is to travel except for essential services. The father adds that mom works as a grocery clerk and could bring home all kinds of germs whereas dad is staying at home since being furloughed from the restaurant where he works. He goes on to say it’s safer at his house because he, his new wife and their two kids are all shuttered.

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Courtesy of The Press-Enterprise

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Serving Our Communities

Still strong and thankful for the many volunteers at Big Brothers Big Sisters. During this difficult time, we remain committed to all of our Bigs, Littles and their families. We want to do our part to keep them safe and healthy, and also ensure they do not lose the valuable relationships they’ve built through our program.


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Laughter: The Best Medicine

A little levity can go a long way when your emotional state fluctuates between stress and utter boredom. Here are some gems we hope you’ll enjoy. Follow our social media for more!

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16 Married Couples Who Might Be Divorced When This Pandemic Ends

Since the coronavirus pandemic began, married people have been making a lot of jokes on Twitter about being locked up with their spouses.

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Courtesy of Nifty on BuzzFeed

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