In these unprecedented times, there is a great deal of uncertainty with respect to how parents should conduct themselves insofar as parenting time schedules, and support arrangements are affected. This page is intended to outline some of the most common issues that have come up in the family law context as a result of the COVID-19 crisis and the variety of factors that parties should consider. If you have any questions concerning your rights and obligations as either a parent or a spouse, please feel free to contact our office at 1.888.374.3350.
1. Should you continue to follow the usual parenting schedule when physical distance restrictions remain in place?
Generally speaking, parenting time schedules should continue if at all possible. However, this will be impacted by many factors that might make the continuation of regular parenting time schedules unsafe or impractical under certain circumstances. Some of these considerations include:
2. You have been laid off or had your hours at work reduced; should you still pay the regular amount of child or spousal support?
Generally speaking, child and spousal support payments ought to continue as ordered or agreed. A short-term lay-off or reduction in work hours does not normally mean that support stops, or gets reduced. This is because support is calculated using annual incomes, not just the income you had last month, or will have next month. However, support is ultimately calculated based on many factors, which would include:
3. Are you concerned about your ex-spouse improperly disposing of family property or accruing debt in your name during the COVID-19 crisis?
If this is your concern, there are some options for you which can be implemented right now, including:
4. Have you tried to reach a resolution with your ex-spouse or third party and have not been successful?
At present, the court is hearing some applications which it deems to be essential or urgent. The following are some types of cases which the court may agree to hear in the current circumstances:
The factors noted in relation to each of the questions simply outline some of the key considerations both parties should consider, and it is not intended to be an exhaustive list of factors. All cases are slightly different, and we do suggest that you seek out legal advice as to how the factors present in your particular situation ought to influence the decisions you make.
Family law lawyers at Morelli Chertkow remain available to give you advice by telephone, or video conferencing. Call or email us to find out how.
The information on our website is intended to be for general information purposes and should not be considered as legal advice. Should you have any specific questions about your case, please contact our lawyers and we would be happy to discuss your legal issues.
For More Information Contact:
Rachel R. Lammers, Partner
Ryan M. Schubert, Partner