Update For Clients During the Stay Home Stay Safe Shutdown and Covid-19 Fears
This is a time of great uncertainty, so I am trying to update everyone the best I can as to the Status of their cases, and what to expect from the Courts and other services at this time. I am still here for you all, working remotely, and as always available by email.
First, if you have children and a parenting time order, pursuant to Governor Whitmer's Stay Home Stay Safe order, travel for parenting time is exempt and you may be out on the roads for parenting time exchanges. This is NOT the time to play games with a parenting time order. Try to work out the issue with your children's other parent. Try again. Document everything (which you know I already tell you!). Your children are scared too, and they need both parents. If you have any fear you may have been exposed to the Corona Virus, think about your children's safety and think of working out some makeup time later with your child's other parent. If you need help crafting communications, we can help with that.
I have copied Jennifer Thompson (her email is firstname.lastname@example.org) , my legal assistant on this email. She can help you with routine and nonlegal matters, such as scheduling. HOWEVER, please note that as of now, all court is cancelled, except for a few emergency matters. She will not be able to give you new dates for Court. She can schedule you time with me only right now. I will tell you if your matter is an emergency matter, but the circumstances are extremely limited. Violations of parenting time and custody orders are, as of now, not being considered emergencies. At this point, if you have a hearing prior to April 13, 2020, you should assume it is cancelled.
We do not have new dates yet, and likely will not for quite awhile. Your matter may be stayed or delayed. Your motions may take awhile longer to be heard. We are doing our best to have everything handled in the most timely manner possible. Order that have been submitted may take longer to be signed. And even once Court resumes, the Judges will be extremely backlogged. Please try to be patient, we are all navigating this together.
So far, mediations are proceeding as scheduled, via skype or phone. I have completed two in the last week and both worked well and settled, so I am hopeful that after this lockdown order, the mediators will continue to accommodate this format of mediation. At this point, presume your mediation is still scheduled unless you hear otherwise from me or Jennifer.
Finally, if you are waiting for a QDRO, we will do our best to have those processed, HOWEVER, most QDRO teams cannot operate remotely, because they are dealing with sensitive information such as social security numbers. Everyone is dealing with this crisis. Unfortunately I cannot speed this process up, and it already quite a slow process.
Please do not hesitate to reach out with questions or if you need help with anything in the meantime. Please stay safe and abide by the Governor's Orders. I thank each and every one of my client's for trusting me to handle a case regarding their family, and will continue to work for my beloved client's through this time.