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COVID-19 Corona Virus and Family Law

a mom plays with her kid

As experienced Family Law Attorneys we have been receiving an influx of questions regarding how this virus will impact our clients. As such, we have gathered a list of common topics below.

Does the COVID-19/Corona Virus Stay at Home Order impact my Child Custody/Visitation Schedule?

  1. What about court ordered parenting time?
    1. This “extended spring break” from school DOES NOT extend the spring break period set forth in your parenting time orders.  Only the originally scheduled spring break period in the child’s school district shall be considered spring break for parenting time orders (unless otherwise specified in the order).  All other time periods affected by the closing of school buildings shall be treated as a normal school day pursuant to the parties’ parenting time schedule.
    2. The Stay at Home order has an exception for parents to exchange their child(ren).
      1. 14 e  travel required by law enforcement officer or court order including to transport children pursuant to a custody agreement.
        1. You can find more about the Order here:
      2. What if we don’t have a court order or I want to modify our current Order?
        1. Please contact an experienced attorney to discuss your options moving forward.

How to talk to my co-parent about COVID-19/corona virus and social distancing?

As an experienced Guardian ad Litem, I have been receiving a lot of questions regarding the impact of COVID-19 and what steps a co-parent can take to ensure the safety of their child(ren). My general guidelines are as follows but may vary by situation:

  1. The White House is advising to refrain from congregations of more than 10 people at this time.  As such, I would like to see children avoid such situations (e.g. grocery stores). This is especially true for children with underlying respiratory/health conditions.
  2. Tune in to Governor DeWine and the White House’s press conferences and ensure that you have discussions with your co-parent about the same.

If you need help at anytime navigating co-parenting during this time, please contact an experienced attorney.

How to allocate/divide the one-time child credit coming from Stimulus related to COVID-19/Corona Virus?

There are many questions about the $500/per child federal stimulus checks that may be issued soon.

If you have already filed a 2019 tax return, the IRS will likely use the direct deposit information on your 2019 return. If you and your co-parent have yet to file a 2019 tax return, the IRS will see if you have filed a 2018 tax return and use that information to determine whether you meet the qualifications.

The Washington Post has provided an estimator as to what people could expect to receive here:

If your divorce or custody action is active, this is a matter that can be discuss with your counsel and/or the court.

If your case is not active, you need to follow the terms of your court order (generally under the tax provision section). This could pose challenges in the future as it may be viewed as a credit for 2020 taxes which may differ from the parent receiving this payment.

Will my court hearing get continued due to COVID-19/Corona Virus?

Each county is issuing releases about their protocol for hearings during this time.  Please contact your local court or review their website for additional guidance.

Some counties are continuing non-emergency hearings, while others are conducting via counsel only or by teleconference.

You will be notified in advance by the court or your attorney if there will be any changes to your scheduled hearing.

If you are a victim of domestic violence or you are in need of an emergency custody order, the court is open to hear your case.

In fact, the Franklin County courthouse is often offering free parking during this time.

During this tough time, try to remember to keep tensions at bay, stay in contact with health care providers (many counselors are offering sessions via zoom conferencing or facetime) and continue to find ways to distress (e.g. a walk outside (while practicing social distancing), a workout tape, a good book, etc.).

For additional guidance on Franklin County hearings:

The attorneys at Kemp, Schaeffer & Rowe remain open for business to assist our clients.  We offer consultations via Facetime, telephone or Zoom conferencing as we stay committed to our clients and the practice.

The post COVID-19 Corona Virus and Family Law appeared first on KSR.

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