Emergency Rule 13: Filing a Spousal or Child Support Case During COVID-19
Many California families are struggling to determine how to handle the legal requirements in the midst of the Stay at Home Order. California residents have had to transition rapidly and suddenly to new work environments, either with modified work schedules or by working remotely, while others have been laid off completely. In addition, some parents are dealing with modified custody schedules, while divorcees are worried about paying child or spousal support. With the closure of California courts to the public, many are unable to file modifications or new cases until the lockdown is lifted.
Traditionally, San Diego residents are required to file spousal and child support cases in person, but a new measure by the California courts may provide some relief for struggling households.
Emergency Order 13
California courts acknowledge that the economic restraints of the coronavirus have led to several residents losing their jobs and much needed incomes. To respond to this, the Judicial Council of California recently enacted Emergency Order 13 to provide temporary relief for individuals who need to modify or terminate their child or spousal support case. Rather than filing in court, the individual may mail a copy of the court request to the ex-spouse or other parent.
In turn, judges will backdate the request, meaning that the date that the modification goes into effect will change to the date that the request was mailed or served to the ex-spouse or other parent. Generally, the effective date would be when the request is filed in a San Diego County court, but Emergency Order 13 removes this barrier temporarily. This order will remain in effect until 90 days from the date in which California Governor Newsman lifts the quarantine order or when the Judicial Council terminates the order.
How We Can Help
At Huguenor Mattis, A.P.C., our lead family law attorney has experience filing support cases in the midst of the California Stay at Home Order and understands the process thoroughly. If you are unable to file a spousal or child support case in a San Diego court, contact us at (858) 458-9500. We can review your case, explain the entire procedure to you, and advocate on your behalf after the courts are open again.