COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Legal Updates for Pennsylvania Divorces and Child Custody Cases

A Message from Our Bucks County Divorce and Child Custody Lawyers

May 29, 2020

Dear Clients and Prospective Clients,

We are fully committed to your safety. Our offices are undergoing deep cleaning and sanitizing in anticipation of the next reopening phase of Bucks County on June 5, 2020. This will continue on a daily basis when we return to our offices. We are taking every measure in accordance with the CDC guidance to secure a safe environment for our clients and employees. We will have sanitizers, gloves and masks for your comfort and protection in case you do not have them with you. Arrangements are also being made for the necessary social distancing. Stay safe and healthy. We will see you soon!

More info: Impact of COVID-19 on Bucks County, PA Child Support and Spousal Support Cases

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May 13, 2020

Dear Clients and Prospective Clients,

On June 1, 2020, Bucks County Courts will reopen and return to normal business hours. See a copy the President Judge's Order of May 13, 2020 here.

Here are two links you will need to open to become familiar with the new procedures at the Courthouse:

  1. Aerial plan noting location of checkpoints and tents outside the Justice Center to process visitors and employees through separate entrances; and
  2. Diagram of Justice Center lobby showing flow of traffic and screening procedures for visitors and employees.

We are also planning that our offices will return to normal operations on that day. Since nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our clients and employees, we have adopted rigorous cleaning procedures in our Newtown-Yardley and Doylestown locations. Protective measures will be in place for our clients and employees as we begin to see clients in the office and at Court. We are adapting to the challenges of this pandemic as we return to our offices in the safest manner possible. Please contact us should you have any questions or concerns.

Wishing you all the best. Stay safe and healthy.

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As the implications of COVID-19 continue to compound, both state and local county judicial emergencies are constantly changing.  As such, if you have an active divorce, custody, child support, or other family matter, it is critical that you consult with an experienced family law attorney to discuss how your case may be impacted.  If you are considering divorce or other family law proceedings, it is likewise critical that you discuss the implications of the recent judicial emergencies with a family law attorney first.

On this page, our Bucks County divorce and child custody lawyers will provide updates issued by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Pennsylvania State Court and Bucks County Court regarding family law, divorce and child custody proceedings, as well as general stateside judicial proceedings that may impact your Pennsylvania family law matter.  The most recent updates will be provided first below.

May 27, 2020 - PA Supreme Court Terminates Statewide Judicial Emergency as of June 1, 2020

The PA Supreme Court's latest order on May 27, 2020 terminates the statewide Judicial Emergency as of June 1, 2020. The order permits local administrative orders and emergencies to remain in full force and effect. The order also provides guidance to legal professionals to resume operations in conformity with the guidance provided by the Executive Branch of Pennsylvania government. See May 27, 2020 Order here.

May 13, 2020 - Judge Bateman's Order Outlines the Return to Normal Business Hours for Bucks County Courts as of June 1, 2020

On May 13, 2020, Judge Bateman's Order outlines the return to normal business hours for Bucks County Courts on June 1, 2020. See May 13, 2020 Order here.

April 30, 2020 - Judge Bateman Amends Bucks County Emergency Order No. 2020-14

On April 30, 2020, Judge Bateman of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County, Pennsylvania amends Emergency Order No. 2020-14 with regard to tolled judicial timelines.  See April 30, 2020 Order here.

April 30, 2020 - Judge Bateman Amends Bucks County Emergency Order No. 2020-13

On April 30, 2020, Judge Bateman of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County, Pennsylvania amends Suspension of Time Calculation in Emergency Order No. 2020-13.  All time calculations for purposes of time computation relevant to court cases or other judicial businesses, as well as time deadlines, are SUSPENDED through May 8, 2020.  See April 30, 2020 Order here.

April 27, 2020 - Judge Bateman Extends Judicial Emergency to May 31, 2020

On April 27, 2020, Judge Bateman of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County, Pennsylvania extended the judicial emergency for all courts (Common Pleas and Magisterial District Courts) of the Seventh Judicial District to to May 31, 2020. See April 27, 2020 Order here.

April 14, 2020 - Pennsylvania Supreme Court Extends Judicial Emergency to May 31, 2020

On April 14, 2020, the PA Supreme Court extended the judicial emergency in the 38th Judicial District from April 30, 2020 to May 31, 2020.  See April 14, 2020 Order here.

April 14, 2020 - Judge Bateman Clarifies Judicial Emergency Order

On April 14, 2020, Judge Bateman clarifies prior Judicial Emergency Order and directs civil pre-trial practice, including discovery, shall continue during the period of the judicial emergency in a manner consistent with government-suggested and -mandated social distancing guidelines.  See April 14, 2020 Order here.

April 8, 2020 - Judge Bateman Issues Separate Order Specifically for the Family Division in Bucks County

On April 8, 2020, Judge Bateman issued a separate Order specifically for the Family Division in Bucks County.  Procedural changes have been immediately implemented to child support, spousal support, custody, divorce, protection from abuse, and other family law matters.  See April 8, 2020 Order here.

In other news, Governor Tom Wolf recently announced that all Pennsylvania schools will remain closed for the duration of the school year.  

Current Custody Orders Amended by Judge Bateman's April 8, 2020 Order

Current custody orders issued in Bucks County have been amended by Judge Bateman’s April 8, 2020 Order.  Most importantly, there are urgent procedures and requirements now imposed on parents who are diagnosed with COVID-19, or who are experiencing symptoms of a cold, the flu, or pneumonia.  These new procedures and requirements also apply to parents who reside with someone who is diagnosed with or suffering from these illnesses.  Failure to comply with Judge Bateman’s April 8, 2020 Order could result in a finding of contempt against the violating party.  As such, it is important that you speak with a family law attorney immediately, no matter what the current status of your case is. 

April 2, 2020 - Judge Bateman Extends Judicial Emergency in Bucks County

On April 2, 2020, President Judge Wallace H. Bateman, Jr. extended the judicial emergency in Bucks County through May 15, 2020. See April 2, 2020 Order here.

April 1, 2020 - Pennsylvania Supreme Court Issues Second Supplemental Order Extending General Statewide Judicial Emergency

On April 1, 2020, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a Second Supplemental Order, extending the general statewide judicial emergency through April 30, 2020.  President Judges of each judicial district, or county, have been granted the authority to extend judicial emergencies in their respective districts through May 31, 2020. See April 1, 2020 Order here.