ALLEN AND GLASSMAN: May Update on COVID-19May 1, 2020
May Update on the COVID-19
We hope you continue to be safe and well. This quarantine has lasted longer than we hoped but seems to be succeeding in controlling the pandemic. Congratulations to all of us who have done all that was requested through this difficult period. May 1st is actually Law Day, celebrating the influence of law on our lives. This year, more than ever, we have seen how law can protect and provide for us.
WHAT CAN LAW DO FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY ISSUES NOW
There are important ways to progress, negotiate, get relief, and even sometimes agree on legal issues, even with the physical courts ceasing normal activity. Motions can be filed and responded to, even if they are not emergencies, so that we can be ready to go when the courts eventually reopen.
When and if a matter is found to be an EMERGENCY, our hard-working judges are setting up and conducting Zoom or video conferencing hearings and ruling with diligence and dispatch.
Mediations and depositions can and are being done online.
Most of all, we continue to be working (mostly) remotely to serve you.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
We understand there are many questions about parenting issues and financial concerns that have been made more complex by the pandemic. We are here to answer them whenever possible and have listed several FAQ for your consideration:
Q: What if I cannot meet my child support or maintenance obligations due to COVID-19?
A: First, contact your attorney to file either a motion for a reduction or an abatement. Your attorney is needed because the courts do not like self-help, which they may hold against you. Let your former or soon-to-be former spouse aware of the problem, apply for any government programs for which you might qualify, try for forgiveness or abatement on other debt, and do the best you can to pay whatever you can – in good faith – for your spouse and children.
Q: If a parenting schedule specifies a child is to be with a parent on a school day, but school is now by e-learning, does the same schedule apply?
A: Yes, in Cook County the court directive specifies that the same schedule should be followed.
Q: What if my soon-to-be former spouse is not following the coronavirus recommendations on social distancing and harassing?
A: This is a difficult issue because no two people react exactly the same. Even when you and the other parent were “happy” you probably had different risk tolerances. However, consult your attorney with what you perceive is being done incorrectly, supply them with any evidence or photographs of the incorrect behavior, and let your attorney guide you through a call, a letter, a motion, or even an emergency motion, whatever the two of you determine is the correct response to the behavior.
There is nothing more valuable that the health and safety of our children.
WHAT IS COMING NEXT
Right now, the court system in Cook County is officially scheduled to reopen May 18th but in view of the governor’s advice on closure throughout the state, that date seems unlikely.
We see the courts gradually becoming more and more accessible and anticipate a probable return to “business as usual” in June 2020.
Check in with the A&G Chartered team either by phone, texts, or email and of course see our website for updates. We are here for you. Stay safe and well.
The A&G Team
Gemma Allen, Todd Glassman, Michael Levy, Mary Carlson, Joe Luckett, Victoria Klotz