An Open Letter to Clients
First of all, I hope you are healthy and staying safe. Obviously, going through a divorce or any contested family law issue is challenging enough without also now having to be under “shelter in place” restrictions and having to worry about family and friends. I also know that with pending divorce and family law issues, the outbreak is only creating more tension and coparenting difficulties. As you know, I’m also a parent, so I understand something about the concerns we all have for our children. I also worry about the health and safety of my family, friends, and staff.
From a legal standpoint, all orders remain in place, and despite any restrictions (including “shelter in place” orders) in your area, there is an exception for adhering to court orders, which means that visitation exchanges need to take place as usual. There are no exceptions for these unprecedented restrictions. That said, let’s be real here. You are going to need to be flexible and forgiving.
We don’t have many available emergency resources to us right now. That doesn’t mean your case is at a standstill, but it does mean that we cannot just file a motion for “any reason.” I am counting on you to take the high road, to extend grace, and to remember that we are all in this together.
Double your efforts to coparent and get along. Please talk to the other parent/spouse/party about childcare, schoolwork, extracurricular activities, (hopefully mutual) household rules, finances, joint obligations, and all other “moving parts” to protect your children and households (assuming there is no restraining order or domestic violence). Be there for each other.
While the office must close its physical doors, we remain virtually open, and I am available as usual to help. That includes email, phone calls, and videoconferences. We will continue to directly reach out to our current and former clients – human interaction and compassion is important now, more than ever. Members of our team have already volunteered (unprompted by me, I might proudly add) to deliver groceries and household supplies to current and former clients, while abiding by the various restrictions in our respective hometowns. If you need help, please reach out, and we will rise to the occasion.
Sending you love and strength,