Court sessions will continue as before, beginning at 8:30, and the only thing that will change will be the public office hours and phone coverage in the registry offices. So if you have business you need to transact with the family court registry in your county, make sure you get to the courthouse and to the registry's office, or make your phone calls, well before 3 PM. This change has been reported to be aimed at giving a shrunken staff more time to handle administrative work at the end of the day, free of interruptions from visitors to the front desk by individuals and attorneys.
I imagine it is sort of like what the banks do when they shut the doors to customers but keep the lights on while their workers continue to carry on their business at the end of the afternoon. For more info, including information about the other courts affected (some of the district, housing, juvenile and land courts), see the Supreme Judicial Court's press release.
FROM THE PRESS RELEASE:
Probate and Family Court[BUT see first paragraph above: Hampden County's Probate and Family Court will stay open until 4:30 as before.]
Registry Counter and phone coverage restricted after 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Applies to any court business, except emergency restraining orders and other emergencies. Court sessions still will begin at 8:30 a.m.
For information about Massachusetts divorce and family law, see the divorce and family law page of my law firm website.