For separated and divorcing couples and co-parents who have scheduled court hearings pertaining to divorce and/or custody this month, here is an update.
Child welfare, custody and domestic violence proceedings are among the exceptions to the Missouri Supreme Court’s April 1 Order suspending most in-person court proceedings due to the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. This Order applies to all appellate and circuit courts.
In-person court proceedings will continue for certain situations that are deemed critical. Exemptions to the suspension Order include:
- Proceedings related to emergency child custody orders;
- Proceedings pursuant to Chapter 475 for emergency guardianship or conservatorship;
- Proceedings pertaining to juvenile delinquency and abuse, neglect, and termination of parental rights, pursuant to chapters 210 and 211;
- Proceedings pursuant to chapter 455 pertaining to orders of protection;
- Proceedings related to petitions for temporary restraining orders or other forms of temporary injunctive relief;
- Proceedings pertaining to adoption, pursuant to chapter 453.
All hearings of these types will go forward as scheduled, or at the discretion of the Judge.
Proceedings that do not require in-person appearances will continue. In most other cases, hearings will be postponed. The Order states that “judges may exercise their discretion to conduct proceedings that do not require in-person appearances or in-person proceedings suspended as a result of this Order by teleconferencing, video conferencing, or other available technology”. Parties will be notified through their attorneys if their hearing has been rescheduled or how it will be handled.
This Order remains in effect until May 1, 2020, but may be extended as the pandemic situation warrants.
All of us here at Raza & Jones, LLC, understand this is a challenging time for our clients. As a family law firm, under St. Louis County’s Order pertaining to COVID-19 we are considered an essential business, and we will remain open and available to all our clients. The entire firm is working remotely, using our Zoom account to meet with clients or speaking by telephone. We are committed to delivering the same high standard of compassionate, effective representation we are known for, in the face of rapidly changing circumstances, and our attorneys will be there for you every step of the way. With a combined 30 years in family law, the attorneys at Raza & Jones, LLC, will provide the legal guidance you need. For questions, or to schedule a confidential consultation, call 314-449-8830.