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What If Family Law Court Hearings or Settlement Conferences Are Scheduled?

Categories: Family Law, Blog

The coronavirus' Impact on hearings and settlements in AZ family court

Question:  There is a hearing, or other court appearance, scheduled in my family law case.  Is the Arizona Family Law Court still open? Do I have to go to Court? 

The status of the Court and pending family law cases continues to evolve rapidly, with updates from the presiding family law court judge, the Honorable Bruce Cohen, disseminated daily. While the Court remains open, effective Wednesday, March 25, 2020, and for a period of at least 14 days thereafter, there shall be no in-person family court proceedings. All such proceedings will be conducted telephonically or will be continued, as determined by the assigned judicial officer. 

The policy against in-person proceedings does not extend to: 

  • Ex parte petitions for Orders of Protection;
  • Hearings set when an order of protection is contested;
  • Ex parte emergency temporary orders motions; and
  • Hearings on ex parte emergency temporary orders motions.

These will continue to be conducted in person, and arrangements are being developed to limit physical exposure to the other participants. Additionally, all enforcement actions are postponed at this time.

Question:  We are scheduled to have a court-ordered settlement conference.  Do I still have to appear in person for it?

Not at this time. Scheduled settlement conferences, and all other conciliation services, when practical, shall be conducted telephonically. These proceedings shall not be conducted in person until further order of the Court. Accordingly, if you are scheduled to appear for a settlement conference, it is imperative to reach out to the judicial officer assigned to conduct the conference to ascertain whether the settlement conference will be continued or conducted telephonically.


About the Blog Post Author: Natalya Ter-Grigoryan is a family law attorney at the Phoenix law firm of Jaburg Wilk. She helps clients with family law matters including dissolution, maintenance, parenting plans, and legal decision making.