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What Is the Impact of Coronavirus on the Illinois Judicial System?

Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County family law attorney

Coronavirus, or COVID-19, is on everyone’s minds these days. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared it a global pandemic, and President Trump recently declared a national emergency as the spread of the virus continues to expand across the country. The virus is thought to have originated in China, but it quickly spread to Europe and the United States. At the time of this writing, more than 198,000 people have been infected in more than 80 countries. Here in Illinois, Governor J.B. Pritzker ordered all restaurants and bars to close except for carryout orders. In addition, Illinois schools are closed until further notice, and health officials are urging citizens to avoid gatherings of 50 or more people. Many people are working from home now, and in some cases, workers have been temporarily laid off. Those who have pressing legal matters may be wondering what effect the virus will have on divorce or family law court cases. Read on to learn more about coronavirus, its impact on the Illinois court system, and how Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC can assist you during this difficult time in our nation’s history.

Signs and Symptoms of COVID-19

It is imperative that anyone who is exhibiting signs of coronavirus seeks medical attention as soon as possible. In order to avoid serious or life-threatening complications, as well as potentially spreading the virus through human contact, those who have been exposed are advised to self-quarantine for 14 days.

The symptoms of COVID-19 infection are similar to pneumonia, and they may include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Chest pain/pressure
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath

For those who have been infected, recovery depends on the strength of a person’s immune system. The elderly and people with underlying health conditions or compromised immune systems are considered to be the most vulnerable. Of the reported number of deaths linked to the virus, many of those victims were over the age of 60.

Since COVID-19 is a viral illness, antibiotics do not work in fighting the disease. There is currently no known vaccine for coronavirus, but health officials are working on one. However, that could take up to a year for approval.

How Are the Illinois Courts Affected?

With businesses and schools closing their doors for a period of time, many people may be wondering if government offices and the courts are following suit. From March 17 through April 15, 2020, or any other date that may be set by a subsequent order of the Chief Judge, the Circuit Court of Cook County will not be in session at the courthouses except to hear emergencies in civil cases or for certain categories of criminal cases. There will be two assigned emergency judges in the Domestic Relations Division each day who will be presiding in the Daley Center in courtrooms 1903 and 1905. We stress that only cases that are considered emergencies will be heard. Unless there is a subsequent order, normal operations are expected to commence on April 16, 2020.

While the courts are closed to non-emergencies, there are still ways to move pending cases toward resolution. For example, courts are accepting agreed orders via email. Additionally, emergency matters are being heard through video conferencing to avoid exposing litigants to each other. Finally, there are many other ways to move the case forward without court, including negotiation, mediation, and collaborative divorce. All of these resolutions are offered through Weiss Kunz & Oliver, LLC.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

These are uncertain times due to the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19. If you are concerned about how your legal matter might be affected by the virus, we are here to help. At Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC, we are dedicated to providing our clients with the most comprehensive legal representation regardless of the circumstances. We are available for teleconferencing via phone, computer, or video. Our knowledgeable and compassionate Elmhurst family law attorneys will carefully review the details of your case to help you achieve the best possible outcome. To schedule your confidential consultation, call our office today at 312-605-4041.







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