COVID-19 Family Law and Divorce Resources
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we at Anderson & Boback want you to be aware that we are diligently keeping up with safety practices and procedures to keep our staff and clients safe during this time. We care very much about the community we serve and want to share with you how we are making our offices and continued service to you a safe priority. We cannot emphasize enough how important it is for all of us to be careful, cautious and vigilant during this time and below we have outlined some of our practices and how we are working to maintain health and safety for all while continuing to work with the family courts to keep your case moving forward. First and foremost are health and safety and then our assurance to you that there have been no interruptions in our ability to continue to serve our client matters. Our team is in place to provide you with regular, relevant, and competent information so there is no need to panic. This COVID-19 family law and divorce resources guide is to help you stay up to date on Coronavirus information pertaining to Chicago divorce and family law questions.
Questions About Family Law & Divorce During COVID-19
Can I Still Meet with an Experienced Family Law Attorney During COVID-19?
We understand that COVID-19 did not stop the need for assistance many people have for their family law matters. Because of this, you can meet with one of our experienced family law attorneys to talk about your case and keep things moving forward. We have put into place several safety measures to help with the fight against the spread of COVID-19 while still serving the best interest of our clients.
- Meetings with clients via phone calls;
- Meeting with clients via zoom call or other video-based technology
- Mediation and settlement discussions via phone call and/or video-based technology
- Working out temporary solutions with the parties for child-related and/or financial matters during COVID-19
- Using emails and facsimile to exchange documents and first-class mail; when necessary documents can be dropped off at our office with our on-site staff
- Meetings in person upon request is an option with everyone wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing in our office space
- We have hand sanitizer stations located throughout our office
- Masks are mandatory to visit our office
- Frequently disinfecting surfaces and locations throughout our office
- Many of our attorneys are working remotely
- We follow the CDC, WHO, and our local governmental guidelines.
How COVID-19 Is Affecting the Family Law Courts in the Chicago Area
During this Pandemic, the Family Law Courts in our area remain open and fully operational, some in-person, however mainly via zoom calls. The Courts have in place procedures for Emergency Matters to be brought before the court within a very short period of time and also have in place procedures for matters to move forward by holding pre-trials, settlement conferences, temporary hearings as well as procedures to finalize your divorce if you require a full trial or have reached an agreement and want to finalize your divorce. We are not operating as “normal” by going into the courthouse in person at this point but Judge’s are available and matters are moving forward. There is no reason to delay a matter during the pandemic.
Illinois COVID-19 Resources & Updates
COVID-19 has brought about a very stressful and trying time to many of us and we are all working hard to make sure we do what is best for ourselves, our families, and our communities. Medical professionals are working on this every day and with each day comes new and important information necessary in dealing with the impact of COVID-19. It is at times difficult to keep track of the rapidly changing details. It is best to obtain information and updates from credible sources such as the Cook County Department of Public Health, Center for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) who have provided the following resources:
Cook County Health Department
Cook County’s Public Health Department provides COVID-19 resources for books, child and youth services, counseling, domestic violence, e-learning, financial, housing, jobs, legal aid, mental health, as well as others. https://cookcountypublichealth.org/communicable-diseases/covid-19/resources/
Cook County Government
Cook County’s website provides information on resources and response to COVID-19 including information about re-opening facilities to the public, testing sites, contact tracing, access to food, and interactive maps which provides easy-to-understand information regarding COVID-19 deaths. https://www.cookcountyil.gov/service/information-covid-19
City of Chicago
The website for Mayor Lightfoot’s Office Press Room where you can find the latest press releases, speeches, and proposed mayoral ordinances released from the Mayor’s office. To visit the Mayor’s press room go to https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/mayor/press_room.html
Center for Disease Control
The CDC has pages dedicated to symptoms of COVID-19, how to protect yourself, risks of going out the benefits of masks, and all of the guidelines specific to those with different medical needs and conditions. Visit: https://www.cdc.gov/
International Health Regulations Emergency Committee
Information on the pandemic as well as interactive dashboard/map which provides the latest global numbers and numbers by country on a daily basis along with travel advice and statements from the meetings of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee regarding COVID-19. Visit: https://www.who.int/
Illinois Department of Public Health
Illinois Department of Public Health website on when to wear a mask, best practices for homemade masks or face coverings, how do I care for my mask, how can I make my own mask or face covering: http://www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19/community-guidance/mask-use/
On July 29, 2020, Illinois Governor Pritzker announced a set of guidelines and restrictions for youth sports. View Gov. Pritzker’s announcement regarding youth sports here: https://chicago.cbslocal.com/2020/07/29/gov-pritzker-releases-restrictions-for-youth-sports-in-illinois/
Illinois Governor Pritzker states that Illinois schools are reopening and classes are to resume in the Fall as part of his Phase 4 recovery plan for Illinois. The Governor has stated that the individual school districts will be able to create their own safety plan as long as they each adhere to the state guidelines. There are 852 school districts in Illinois so there is a lot of room for creativity within each school district as to how they are going to implement the state guidelines which are as follows:
- Personal Protection Equipment required including face masks for all teachers and students
- No more than 50 people in one area at a time
- Social distancing
- Screening for symptoms
- Temperature checks
- Increased cleaning and disinfecting of the school rooms and building