Springfield divorce attorneys keep busy amid pandemic

Published: Oct. 29, 2020 at 10:03 PM CDT
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A troubling and unexpected result of the Coronavirus is turning out to be more couples filing for divorce.

“Typically this time of year is slow for attorneys," said Kyle Wyatt with Wyatt Law & Associates, LLC.

Springfield family law attorneys Kyle Wyatt and Richard Van Pelt said this year it’s quite the opposite.(

“People being locked up together and a lot of people working from home. I haven’t had anyone really share with me that that’s the direct reason that they were deciding to file for divorce,” said Richard Van Pelt with Van Pelt & Van Pelt Attorneys At Law.

Van Pelt said he had an increase in cases after the shutdown but he’s back to a more normal caseload. Wyatt said he’s been so busy he’s hiring another lawyer.

“Spreading yourself out too thin is doing a huge disservice to your clients and that’s not what we aim for here," said Wyatt.

Wyatt said it’s not just divorce cases that are increasing it’s also custody battles.

“People have been using covid as an excuse to deny parents of their court order time," said Wyatt.

Both attorneys said the pandemic has provided challenges when cases go before a judge.

“I’ve had several trials done through this computer screen. You don’t have that in person environment you don’t have the ability to read the witness on the stand or see their body language. A lot of the times you don’t even know who is in the room with them. What kind of help they may be getting,” said Wyatt.

Van Pelt expects divorce filings to increase again once the pandemic ends.

“I think there will be an even larger uptick once things get back to sort of normal," said Van Pelt.

Wyatt says the Greene County Court House only allows in person sessions for certain cases.

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