According to the BBC, divorce applications and break-ups skyrocketed around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic. One leading U.K. law firm noted a 122 percent increase in inquiries for divorce, while in the U.S. a legal form template provider reported that divorce agreements increased 34 percent in the first half of 2020.
Of course, it’s not just divorces that increased. Ask a legal professional who practices family law and they will likely describe a backlog of cases, which often require a lengthy and nuanced approach, spread among far too few lawyers who are overworked and burning out. As one Washington family law lawyer describes, “Divorce is an area of law that requires an attorney to be part counselor, part sage, part philosopher, and, ideally, a consistent, wise, and steadying voice.”
That’s only one example from one lawyer. Given the strain put on families and those who practice family law, the latest issue of Washington State Bar News is dedicated to the topic of family law. The issue features a variety of family law-related topics from a variety of perspectives, covering such topics as divorce, child custody, and restraining orders. Check out the issue to learn about collaborative divorce, initial hearings, Washington’s updates to civil protection orders, mitigating implicit bias, and what it took to put together the third edition of the WSBA’s Washington Family Law Deskbook.
The new issue also includes articles from regular columnists covering subjects like risk management for timekeeping and billing; the WSBA’s fiscal year 2023; our diversity, equity, and inclusion data-gathering efforts; and funding for Washington’s courts.