As COVID-19 restrictions are eased across the country and The Empire State, residents can expect positive impacts on the Family Courts. As you well know, severe backlogs and waiting periods have resulted from the long period of mandated court closures across New York. These setbacks have caused significant delays and other problems. Williamson, Clune & Stevens, family law attorneys in Ithaca and Syracuse, encourage anyone needing legal services to contact them at once; light is clearly visible at the end of this tunnel.
Recent Factors Contributing to Better Court Access
Several positive factors are bringing better access to court services and a faster resolution of family law matters. Perhaps the most prominent or well known is the prolific availability of the COVID-19 vaccine. As more New York State residents are vaccinated, the risks of contracting or transmitting the coronavirus becomes lower. Of course, some increased hygiene practices will remain in place, such as wearing masks when in close proximity to other people.
Another contributing factor is the ability of the courts to see more cases. According to a recent message from Chief Judge Janet DiFiore, dated April 14, 2021, recent federal aid has made it possible to fully fund judicial matters and personnel, meaning more judges will be available to handle matters across the legal spectrum, including Family Law.
Add to this the proliferation of virtual trials and hearings across the state, which in just the most recent week before this writing, totaled almost 1200. Plus, 23,870 matters were remotely conferenced and almost 6,000 were settled.
Consequently, the New York State courts will be introducing more in-person trials and hearings in the coming days to help attack the backlog of cases and see that New York residents can receive the timely justice they deserve in Family Law and other matters.
What These Changes Mean for Family Law Cases
Chief Judge Janet DiFiore also referred to an anticipated rise in Family Law matters in her statement of April 14, 2021. This is no doubt in large part to the many changes that are needed with custody and support agreements. Early in the pandemic, many New York families were hit hard financially and unable to maintain their mandated support agreements. Others were forced to drastically alter custody arrangements in order to meet new schedules and safety mandates.
Changes that were filed with and approved by the Family Court may need new alterations as conditions change again. As schools and businesses reopen and schedules change once again, better custody arrangements may now be possible. Workers who are returning to full-time employment and catching up on expenses may now be able to increase their amount of family financial support.
Moreover, any divorce or family law matters that arise may receive faster attention before the courts than in past months. If you have pending case matters, these, too, should receive a faster resolution now that pandemic-related restrictions are being lifted across the state.
Williamson, Clune & Stevens, a Family Law firm in Ithaca and Syracuse, NY, is ready to assist you with any changes or problems with your marital, divorce, custody or support arrangements and any other family law matters. Our office is open for business and we continue to handle many matters through virtual technology for your safety and the safety of our legal team. Contact us today by calling 607-273-3339 or by sending an online message with your question or request for assistance.