What Do I Need to Know During Uncertain Times?

Uncertain Times In Family Law

Over the past couple weeks, I have received many phone calls from parents wanting to know how the courts are going to handle cases moving forward. It’s true. We are in a state of uncertainty. There are new and changing developments each day. The courts are doing their best to move cases along while ensuring the safety and well-being of the community. I know all of this can be nerve racking and understandably so. I know that it can feel like we are swimming in troubled waters. Please take solace in knowing that storms do not last forever.

While we navigate through our temporary new reality, I want you to know that I get it. Many of you have cases pending and wondering what is going on. Others may need protection from the courts right away. Some of you may have custody issues where you are being denied visitation by the other parent. Your case is important, and your concerns are valid.

To calm the troubled waters (as much as I possibly can), I have provided information related to the Riverside Family Courthouse below. Please realize that information changes daily. For up to date information, I highly recommend that you visit the Riverside Superior Court website.

Is the Riverside Family Courthouse closed?

Yes, but there are exceptions. The Court is still accepting and reviewing requests for restraining orders (DVRO) and request for emergency hearings (Ex-Parte). Also, you can still file a non-emergency motion (RFO). The courts are not hearing non-emergency RFO’s at this time and will set these cases on the regular calendar to be heard at a later date.

If you need a DVRO to protect you, the Court will review your request for a DVRO and either grant it or deny it on a temporary basis based on your written declaration provided. Whether it is granted or denied on a temporary basis, you will be given a future court date for you and the other party to return to court to determine if a permanent restraining order should be granted.

What happens if I have an emergency (unrelated to domestic violence) and need help right away?

If you have an emergency, you can file a Request for Order requesting an emergency hearing. My understanding is that you will be notified shortly after April 3rd as to the status of your request. The Court may have you appear telephonically at that time or deny your request and set a future date. The judge/bench officer reviewing your request will decide if your matter should be heard as an emergency or set on the regular calendar. The process of how hearings will be heard is still being explored.

When will the Riverside Family Courthouse fully open again?

Presently, the Court is closed now to Friday, April 3rd. The Court is scheduled to reopen on Monday, April 6th. Please note that this can change as I have been receiving updates regularly.

I have a pending matter on calendar. Has my matter been continued?

A: Unless you are a client, I do not have information on the status of your case. I do know that several cases in the month of March have been continued but it does not mean that your case has been continued. Please verify with the Court to receive an update on the status of your case.

The other parent is not allowing me to see our children, stating health risks. I believe he/she is playing games and is trying to keep me from seeing our children. What can I do?

First, I do understand how frustrating this must be. We are in uncharted territories and the safety of our children is priority. However, I also understand that some may be using this unfortunate time to deny visitation to the other parent. You may want to consider consulting with a competent attorney to explore your legal options. Because each family and each set of circumstances are different, you would need to explore your legal options based on your specific facts.

During this time, I and my team are wishing you and your family the very best. We wish nothing less but continued health and safety.

Keep Your Chin Up,

Shauna M. Albright

Founder and Managing Attorney

Albright Family Law Group

The information in this post is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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