By now, some of us are on our fourth (or even fifth) week of staying home to shelter in place during the COVID-19 health crisis. For some, this will be a great opportunity to catch up on work and spend quality time with their families. For others, this will put their parenting plan (and co-parenting skills) to the ultimate test.
Wolf & Shore Law Group realizes that not everyone staying home is working from home. Many people have been laid off, our clients included. Some parents, who are essential employees, first responders, and/or health care workers, are unsure if they can even utilize their parenting time and see their families. These unprecedented circumstances lead to so many questions that no one thought they’d have to ask.
- Can I get child support now that I have my children with me full-time?
- My kids aren’t going to school, but they are doing “distance learning.” As far as my parenting plan goes, does this mean that school is in session, or not?
- My ex is a first responder, do I have to let my kids go to her house during the health crisis if I am concerned about exposure?
Attorneys Kristen Wolf & Shari-Lynn Cuomo Shore hear your questions, and want you to know that we are here to help. Through virtual consultations and client meetings, Wolf & Shore Law Group can provide you the support you need.
Wolf & Shore Law Group is fortunate to be able to work remotely to continue to serve our clients. Here are just a few ways that we can help you during this ongoing pandemic:
- Video Conference or Phone Consultations
- Video Conference Mediations
- Video or Phone Client Meetings
- Video Conference Negotiation Meetings
- Participation in DCF home visits via Video Conference
- Draft Estate Plans (Last Will and Testament, Living Will/Medical Directive/Power of Attorney)
- Draft Prenuptial Agreements
- Draft Postnuptial Agreements
- Initiate Divorce, Custody or Post-Judgment Proceedings
- Initiate Guardianship Matters
- Run and/or Analyze Child Support Guidelines or Income Allocations
- Facilitate Residential Closings or Re-finances
- Draft Quitclaim Deeds and/or Use and Occupancy Agreements
Our dedication to diligently represent and zealously advocate for our clients is as strong as ever, and we want all of our clients, past, present, and future, to know that you can depend on Wolf & Shore Law Group when you need us the most.
It is important for our clients to also understand that even though there is an ongoing health crisis, that does not mean that underlying court orders are no longer applicable. Child support, alimony and/or other support orders are still in effect and still need to be paid to the receiving party. It is essential that if you cannot currently meet a court-ordered obligation, that you seek assistance as soon as possible to modify such.
The outlook must be that this situation is temporary, and we have to do everything in our power to keep the status quo. Modifications may still be filed with the court, and while they will be heard at a later date, retroactivity is a large possibility. This would mean that your modification would be backdated to the date you have filed. Do not let the closures deter you, should you find yourself in need of a modification, the time to file is still right now.
In the meantime, there are relief programs and loans available for people affected financially during this crisis. These may be able to help you get through to the end and sustain your payment obligations until you can get into court.
Parenting plans are also still in effect, despite the shelter in place orders. That being said, co-parenting to come to a mutual agreement on changes is likely in everyone’s best interest at this time. You may need to postpone “your weekend” and should your co-parent be willing to work with you, you can strategize a way to “make it up” in the future. We have also recommended trying to Skype of Facetime with your children if you aren’t able to have them in your home at this time. It is also essential for co-parents to work together when one, or both parents, are still going into work on a regular basis.
Wolf & Shore can help mediate and negotiate new temporary parenting plans, refer you to other services such as co-parenting counseling, and even file temporary agreements electronically. The most important thing is that everyone remains safe and healthy.
Please do not hesitate to contact us and set up your virtual meeting today. Our office will even be offering extended operating hours during this time, and you can schedule your video conference from 8:00am through 6:00pm.