The pandemic halted divorce filings in New York City.

By Christopher Luu
Updated May 13, 2020 @ 5:30 pm
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Update May 25: On the first day that New York City courts began accepting non-emergency divorce cases, Mary-Kate Olsen officially filed for divorce from Pierre Olivier Sarkozy. Because of public health concerns surrounding the coronavirus, courts had halted any cases deemed "non-essential."

Olsen and Sarkozy's divorce is listed as "contested." Vulture reports that attorney Michael Stutman, former president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, New York, explained that in a “contested” divorce, “the parties have not come to an agreement on any of the major issues in the case."

Update: New York courts spokesman Lucian Chalfen told People that Mary-Kate Olsen's request for an emergency order divorce has been deemed "non-essential" and denied. Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Michael Katz denied the motion because "essential matter procedure" was not followed.

"We are only accepting essential/emergency matters for filing," Chalfen says. "The original filing was rejected by the New York County Clerk because they did not follow the essential matter procedure."

"They refiled under the essential matter procedure and the matter was referred to the ex parte judge a New York State Supreme Judge," Chalfen continued, accoring to Page Six. "He decided that it is not essential so they can’t file anything at this point."

Coronavirus has halted just about everything — and some government offices are no exception. According to TMZ, Mary-Kate Olsen and her husband, Pierre Olivier Sarkozy, are in the midst of a divorce. On top of that, Sarkozy's legal team is demanding that Olsen remove her belongings from their New York City apartment by May 18. She says that it's not safe to be moving at the moment and because New York City courts are closed down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, her request for a petition for divorce has been in limbo.

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TMZ reports that Olsen submitted the petition for divorce back on April 17 and that courts are only processing "emergency" filings. In Olsen's case, she could be facing the possibility of Sarkozy tossing all of her belongings. In court documents, she claims that Sarkozy is "forcing" her out of the premises by terminating their lease without her knowing. Olsen requested an extension to May 30 and TMZ adds that Sarkozy has been unresponsive.

When the divorce petition is filed, it would "trigger an automatic court order" and prevent Sarkozy from getting rid of Olsen's personal property. Olsen filed an emergency order to move the divorce process ahead and TMZ adds that she's asked that the couple's prenuptial agreement — which was never made public — be honored. Olsen and Sarkozy got married back on November 27, 2015, in a wedding that reportedly included "bowls of cigarettes."

There is precedent for a divorce via telephone, though Olsen and Sarkozy's messy situation may make things more complicated. A "non-contested" divorce can take place over the phone with a judge present and depending on the situation, there can even be video conferences for certain hearings.