Family Law Advisor: Coronavirus (COVID-19) update
Meeting your priorities at an uncertain time.
In this unique time, choosing among priorities can be challenging as we respond to our families and our community. At Marke Gilbert and Associates, the health and well-being of our clients and our team are paramount. As the situation with COVID-19 continues to evolve, we will follow the guidance of the CDC and the State of Michigan to ensure that we keep families—yours and ours—safe. We are well aware, however, that family law problems can still occur and assure you that we are committed to providing the same level of compassionate and complete legal help as always.
We continue to work so that your needs are met in the most fast, safe, and manner suited to every unique situation possible. If you need any of our services in the days ahead, we are fully operational through remote technology, including videoconferencing.
This resource page offers FAQ’s, insights and updates on a range of family law questions or issues you may face during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the situation with COVID-19 continues to develop and evolve, the safety, health and well-being of our clients and our team are paramount to Marke Gilbert and Associates.
We would like to reassure you that Marke Gilbert and Associates will continue to be available to provide services to all of our clients. Below is a list of FAQ’s regarding our response and commitment to you during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Can I have a consultation with my lawyer remotely?
Yes, We have multiple video conferencing options and are available by phone Please contact us for the platform that works best for you.
Will my lawyer be available to answer questions and work on my case?
Yes, you can email, call, or video conference during this time.
How are court hearings and appointments affected?
The Michigan Supreme Court has ordered all courts to adjust regular operations and most non-emergency hearings are being rescheduled. This is a dynamic and changing situation, but as leaders in the family law community, we are following the situation closely and are constantly being updated on what the courts are doing during this time. At this time, most courts in Michigan only allow in-person hearings for emergency or essential matters. Please check back with us, we will be updating this page regularly.
Can I consult with a lawyer about a new family law or divorce matter?
Yes, we are available via phone, email, or remote conferencing.
What will happen to our children if the other parent or I test positive for coronavirus/COVID-19?
First, follow the CDC and your local health authority’s protocol for people that have tested positive. Be sure to follow your doctor’s recommended treatment plan. You should keep the other parent informed of the situation. Transparency is key.
Discuss an emergency plan with the other parent as soon as possible. Be proactive about this now as it will save you stress and anxiety later. Both parents should be on the same page about how to tell the children and how the quarantined parent will communicate with the children.
What happens if my children contract coronavirus/COVID-19?
Reference the provisions in your court order concerning each parent’s rights to make medical decisions.
Make a plan for where the child should stay if quarantined. It may be that if you and the other parent have more than one child, the plan will be that all of the healthy children will stay with one parent, while the other parent cares for the sick child.
If you or the other parent are in a high-risk category, both parents might agree to enlist the help of a close family member or friend to help care for the healthy children.
Perhaps you or the other parent are living with a high-risk category family member, you may have to agree to make caregiving arrangements to prevent exposure. The bottom line is that these are unprecedented time and both parents will have to have a degree of flexibility when approaching these complex issues.
What if I am laid off, can I stop or reduce my child support payments?
Even through this difficult period, the terms of your court order remain the same. If you are court-ordered to pay child support, you are still under the obligation to pay the amount ordered. It is not advisable to stop making child support payments. To change the amount of child support paid to the other parent, a petition to modify child support must be filed with the court. The amount owed to the other parent will not be officially changed until a judge signs a new order.
The person receiving child support should be notified as soon as possible.
Consult with your attorney to discuss the option of modifying your child support.
Please contact us we will listen to your concerns and connect you with the expertise you need.