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Covid FAQ’s Answered By Attorney Melissa Needle
Divorce
  • Covid FAQ's Answered By Attorney Melissa Needle
    • video
      Firm Name: Needle | Cuda
      Duration: 03:14
      Date: 2020-04-20

      COVID-19 Divorce in Connecticut

      Attorney Melissa Needle discusses Connecticut Court shutdown and the impact the COVID-19 crisis has had on family law cases and so-called COVID-19 Divorce.   Needle | Cuda: Divorce and Family Law  is based in Westport, CT and services Fairfield County. 

      Modified Family Court Schedules

      The Connecticut Family Courts are operating on a modified schedule which prioritizes Emergency Matters.

      Protect Against Domestic Violence

      COVID-19 is driving Domestic Violence and Substance Abuse to new heights.   Help prevent Domestic Violence and Abuse in the Community.  Promote Emergency Resources and Hotlines if you suspect a problem exists.

      Act Now and File your Divorce and Post Judgment Modification

      Even though the Connecticut Family Court Schedule is moving more slowly, if you need to file for divorce or a motion for modification, ACT NOW... DO NOT WAIT!  Filing your motion preserves your place in line and may protect retroactivity of certain claims;

      Uncharted Territory for Parenting Plans and Visitation Schedules

      COVID-19 stay at home orders, business and industry shut-downs, and CDC Guidance have pushed Parenting Plans and Visitation Schedule in uncharted territory.  If there was ever a time for patience and cooperation among co-parents, NOW IS THE TIME!

      What do I do about my Parenting Issues during COVID-19?

      With quarantines, the closing of many businesses and the ever-present health threat, conversations about parenting issues among former partners should focus on:

      Safety

      No matter where you live or what your relationship is like with your ex, both parents’ primary focus must be on their child’s safety. A parent’s occupation, travel between homes, living environments and others who might reside with a mother or father all could increase a young person’s exposure to the virus. This might mean hard decisions and tough conversations, but the determining factor should always be the health of your child and the people around him or her.

      Flexibility

      Strong parenting plans set forth fair, clear terms regarding custody and visitation. Each side should know their rights and understand the consequences if they don’t fulfill their obligations. Though well-crafted agreements address predictable contingencies, it’s likely that your order does not account for a situation where all “nonessential” activity is shut down for weeks or months. As a parent, seeing your son or daughter is essential however, and states have differed as to whether custody arrangements override a stay-at-home directive. Even if you believe the law is on your side, finding an open court could be very difficult. Unlike almost any other circumstance, this pandemic presents a parenting challenge that must justify temporarily breaking from the established custody framework.

      Technology

      Using FaceTime, Skype or Zoom to maintain frequent, meaningful contact can help get parents and children through these difficult times. If it becomes necessary to consult with an attorney or engage in a conversation before a mediator, you can also take advantage of technology to do so.

      Whether your best solution involves online visits, preparations for extra visitation time when the pandemic eases, or negotiations for a temporary parenting plan modification, a knowledgeable family law attorney can advise you on strategies that suit your circumstances and needs while protecting your children.

             
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