Divorce, Family Law, and Coronavirus
All in-person depositions, mediations, and settlement conferences are in the process of being rescheduled. However, our office continues to facilitate these aspects of our cases via video or telephone conference. Where all parties are willing and able to participate, mediators are available to facilitate mediation via Zoom. Despite court closures, the courts have encouraged parties to move cases forward as efficiently as possible, and the team at Hertz • Sager is taking the necessary actions on behalf of our clients to do so.
Time-sharing can be a tumultuous process under ordinary circumstances, and even more so today. Given the unprecedented stress we are all facing, we feel it is necessary to provide you with information on ways to handle both co-parenting and time-sharing during our health crisis.
During this challenging time, the courts expect parties to continue to adhere to any Court Ordered parenting plan. Courts expect parenting plans to be strictly complied with through the summer months. Any exchange between parents that was to take place at the child’s daycare or the child’s school, requires arrangements to be made in writing between the parents as efficiently as possible. Failure to comply with a court order can result in harmful impacts, both short-term and long-term. Every family law case is different, and such potential consequences may vary significantly.
Parents may have a growing concern regarding the welfare of their child during the COVID-19 pandemic. For those parents, there are options available. In situations where another parent is exposing the child to unnecessary risks, we have a few recommendations. First, if possible, express your growing concerns to the other parent regarding their failure to take necessary precautions to ensure the safety of the child. However, if there is a history of miscommunication or heated litigation with the other parent, it is advised that you contact a legal professional to determine the available options.
Although the courts are currently closed until June 1, 2020, there are options available to you if you feel your child’s health, safety, or welfare are at risk as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you think that your case warrants an emergency order, it is vital that you seek legal counsel as soon as possible to help determine your available legal options. In Miami-Dade County, Chief Judge Bertila Soto signed an administrative order which contains special requirements for filing an Emergency Motion. As result, it is important that you contact legal counsel to advise you of your options.
Unfortunately, this unforeseen pandemic has resulted in laid-off employees, reduced hours, and shut down of numerous businesses. If any of the above mentioned has occurred, child support and alimony payments may be modifiable. Modification is not automatic; as a result, it is essential that you notify the other party of such changes in employment.
Although not required in every case, the order awarding alimony or child support may contain such a notice requirement. As a result, it is vital that you contact legal counsel to determine your best course of action.
This time of uncertainty has brought upon a vast amount of emotional and financial hardships for both individuals and families alike. Some families are in the midst of divorce proceedings. Unfortunately for those, the current shelter in place order may be creating additional stress. It is crucial that you keep yourself informed about the divorce process. Due to these unfamiliar circumstances, it is crucial that you have the appropriate legal representation on your side. An experienced attorney can help you understand the complexities of the divorce proceeding while making your best interests a priority throughout the proceedings. If you require legal guidance during your divorce proceeding, our team is here to alleviate any unnecessary stress.
Relationships previously in danger, are now being damaged by the prolonged confinement. Lack of guidance, professional knowledge, and time only aggravate stress. To those individuals that want to know whether it is possible to commence a divorce proceeding during the COVID-19 pandemic, the answer is yes. However, keep in mind that electronic communication is the new “norm”. As a result, the time ordinarily spent physically in-person meeting with an attorney is now transitioning to online video or audio conferences.
Also, as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been changes in the handling of cases by the judicial system. Courts are currently limiting hearings due to their closures. However, despite the difficulty of obtaining a court hearing, there are additional ways to resolve a divorce proceeding. Therefore, despite the changes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we advise you to consult with legal counsel to explore your available options to move towards resolving your divorce.