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COVID-19 Continues to Impact Divorce Proceedings

June 09, 2020

By: Derren Ciaglia & Terry Young 

On May 21, 2020, the Supreme Court of Florida issued an order (Administrative Order AOSC20-23 Amendment 2) regarding Comprehensive COVID-19 Emergency Measures for the Florida State Court. If you are currently in a divorce proceeding, or about to begin one, here are some key points for you to keep in mind.

Virtual hearings will continue. Here's how to prepare. 

Your divorce proceeding will take place remotely using virtual technology such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams. Although you won’t be physically going to the courthouse, you should still be court presentable during your virtual appearance.

When identifying yourself on the meeting platform, be sure to enter your full given name (no nicknames) in the prompt box since this is how the court will recognize you. It’s also a good idea to download and familiarize yourself with the virtual platform prior to the hearing so that you can work out any potential glitches.

Notarization requirements remain suspended, with a few exceptions.

The requirement for all family law forms to be notarized or signed in the presence of a deputy clerk also remains suspended if the following language is included before the filer’s signature, “Under penalties of perjury, I declare that I have read this document and the facts stated in it are true.” 

The exception does not apply to the Dissolution of Marriage (divorce) settlement agreements [Form 12.902(f)(1) Form 12.902(f)(2); and Form12.902(f)(3)] or any form that transfers ownership or property. These forms must still be notarized.

Please contact an attorney with any additional questions regarding divorce proceedings.

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This article is informational only. You should consult an attorney before acting or failing to act. The law may change rapidly and no warranty is given. LOWNDES DISCLAIMS ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES AND WITHOUT LIMITATION, ANY WARRANTY OF FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. ALL ARTICLES ARE PROVIDED AS IS AND WITH ALL FAULTS. Consult a Lowndes attorney if you wish to establish an attorney/client relationship.

Derren K. Ciaglia is a shareholder in the firm’s Family and Marital Law practice. She devotes her practice to family law matters, including divorce, child support, child custody, alimony, paternity matters and family law litigation involving complex financial and parenting issues.

Trained in the interdisciplinary model of collaborative family law, Derren is passionate about advocating for her clients and providing them with help and counsel during what can be difficult and uncertain times in their lives.

Derren is active in the community, currently serving on the board of directors of the Rosen Jewish Community Center. She is also a member of The Florida Bar, Orange County Bar Association, Central Florida Family Law American Inn of Court and The Collaborative Family Law Group of Central Florida.

Admitted to practice in Florida and Illinois, Derren earned her law degree cum laude from the University of Florida Levin College of Law and her undergraduate degree with honors from the University of Michigan. While at law school, she received a Family Law Certificate and three Book Awards in perspectives of family, collaborative law, and intimate partner violence assistance. She also served as a legal extern for the Honorable Judge Maurice M. Paul of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida and the Honorable Judge Denise Page Hood of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.


Terry Young has tried over 50 jury trials to verdict and more than 200 non-jury trials. He has more than 30 years of experience – in local, state and Federal courts – ranging from disputes over United States presidential elections to multi-national “bet-the-company” litigation, from high profile divorces to multi-million-dollar personal injury cases, from complex contract disputes to first amendment defenses.

Whether a public persona or a private family, a major corporation or a fledgling new venture, Terry represents both plaintiffs and defendants, from counseling through trial and appeal. While Terry advocates on behalf of his clients in court, he is a firm believer in dispute resolution whenever appropriate. Most importantly, whether in arbitration, mediation, divorce, or trial, or negotiating a private settlement, he has the utmost regard for clients’ confidentiality, privacy and ultimate objectives.

Sometimes those objectives are to minimize costs – even in the case of a high-profile divorce. Terry has represented a number of public figures in family law matters.

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