Chicago Family Law Cases on Hold Due to Coronavirus
The coronavirus pandemic continues to increase around the world, and various states, cities, and the federal government have taken steps to combat the spread. Schools, businesses, and government offices across the country are being temporarily shut down. If you are wondering if your Chicago or Cook County paternity, divorce, or other family law matter has been delayed as a result of the virus, the short answer is: most likely, yes. Learn about the court closures below and speak with an experienced and dedicated Chicago family law attorney if you have any questions about a pending divorce, child custody issue, or any other Illinois family law matter.
Cook County Court Delays Nearly All Civil and Criminal Hearings
On March 13, 2020, in response to the expanding concerns over coronavirus in Illinois and across the country, the chief judge in the Cook County Courts issued a court order. The order states that, in light of the “global coronavirus pandemic, and in order to protect the health and safety of the general public,” the court officially rescheduled and continued “all matters in all Districts and Divisions of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois” for 30 days. There are exceptions to the general reschedule mandate.
The order keeps certain matters on the docket as absolutely necessary. These matters include emergency hearings that may arise during the shutdown as well as bail hearings and motions to review bail so as not to keep arrested defendants detained without hearing. The court will also hold preliminary hearings and arraignments for criminal cases that have already been scheduled on the docket and will let trials already in process continue. The order lays out specifics for certain other types of matters. For example, no court will sign orders for eviction or foreclosure during the 30-day period.
Family law matters such as divorces or hearings regarding alimony or child custody fall squarely into the general pile of matters that will be postponed by 30 days. Whether it is a scheduled hearing or an arbitration meeting, you can expect it to be put on hold for the time being. Certain emergency matters may still be heard and may be conducted in person or via video or teleconference. Discovery in family law matters, like other civil matters, will continue. Parties can still file initial pleadings or responsive motions during the 30-day period.
Speak with an attorney regarding your Chicago family law matter to see how this affects your case.
HELP IS AVAILABLE FOR YOUR ILLINOIS FAMILY LAW MATTER
If you are facing divorce or any other family law in Illinois, contact the talented, professional, and dedicated Carol Stream family law attorneys at Johnson, Westra, Broecker, Whittaker & Newitt for a consultation on your case at 630-665-9600.