There is a lot of uncertainty throughout the world right now during this unprecedented pandemic caused by Covid-19. As we continue to navigate the unknown and deal with societal changes that could represent some new norms, many parents are having real concerns over how to effectively co-parent during this pandemic. As I try to tell my clients, the most important thing that parents can do during this time is to try to have effective communication with their co-parent. Now I know sometimes that is a lot easier said than done, but effective and regular communication regarding the issues that we are all concerned with now, including finances, schooling, child care issues and getting the essentials we need from day-to-day, can help assist parents in ensuring that their children are being taken care of during these times.
In cases where the Court has already entered a final judgment, a parenting plan should breakdown timesharing schedules, but if your case is still pending, you may not have that clarity. If you are a parent that does not have your child the majority of time, then it is possible you are being denied timesharing during the Covid-19 pandemic. If that is the case, then what options do these parents have at this time? Any parent can always file a motion in court to enforce timesharing or present any other issue related to a child that is being affected by this pandemic. While the hearing may not take place in person, many courts will hear the disputes over telephone or video if the parties can agree on conducting a hearing in such a way. If a parent is being denied physical timesharing, then virtual timesharing should, at a minimum, take its place, if not increase during the length of time that timesharing cannot occur.
If you are being denied reasonable contact and access during Covid-19, most Courts will take these denials of timesharing very seriously. The Court has broad powers under contempt and enforcement proceedings to fashion remedies to make sure that a parent who is being denied access will get that made up, whether that is by extended timesharing over the summer or holidays, or when the stay-at-home orders are lifted. If you are being denied access, it is important to understand what rights you have during these very uncertain times to continue having the ability to access and parent your children for as long as Covid-19 continues to be a significant issue for our society.
If you have questions about Covid-19 and your family law case it’s important to speak with an experienced family law attorney to discuss your specific case and circumstances. Attorney Russell J. Frank is a partner at CPLS, P.A., and focuses his practice areas on family and marital law. Contact Attorney Frank today at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss any family or marital legal issues you may be experiencing.
I Pled Guilty, Can I File a Motion for Post-conviction Relief?
You were charged with committing a crime. After consulting with your attorney and based on their advice, you pled guilty. The judge sentenced you, but it was not the sentence you were expecting. Now what?
If you are in Florida, you can file a motion for post-conviction relief or, as it is sometimes referred to, a 3.850 motion. With this motion, you are asking the court to vacate your guilty plea and order a trial.
Florida rules provide reasons that can be used to support your request, but, because you pled guilty, the reasons that you can argue are a lot more limited. And you only have 2 years after losing your appeal to file this motion. If you do not file the motion on time, you will lose this option, making the possibility of vacating your plea and getting a trial, much more difficult.
If you or a loved one pled guilty and wants to vacate their plea, contact Attorney Evelyn J. Pabon Figueroa at (407) 647-7887 or email@example.com to discuss your case and decide if post-conviction relief is available to you.
We are certainly coping with interesting times these days that call for different ways of living. This especially holds true for those who are timesharing with the other parent. Co-parenting during or after a divorce can be challenging in itself. Couple that with coping with COVID-19 adds enough stress that can derail even the best of timesharing. What are some ways to co-parent and timeshare during this period and why is it so important?
- Keeping the timesharing the same as much as possible. When outside circumstances get our attention especially ones that stressful, it’s easy to focus on what you’re going through and not as much with your children. Imagine how they must be feeling if we as parents are fearful. Work with the other parent to keep this time as normal as possible especially with your timesharing. Children look for consistency during this time and change will contribute to their focus on the pandemic instead of the certainty of being with each parent. That being said, make sure you follow any guidelines or orders from the Court and your state and local governments as it relates to the pandemic and remaining safe.
- Most children are home and many parents are as well. There are many homeschooling opportunities that are happening while the schools remain closed during this time. It’s important for each parent to make sure that the child’s homeschooling is kept current. It’s common for there to be different parenting styles when it comes to homework. During normal times, this can be a source of friction between the parents and needs to be addressed. As the children are being given assignments either online or other ways instead of being in school, both parents need to work together during their timesharing to make sure these assignments are completed and reviewed.
- As children are at home instead of being in school, there are many opportunities for distraction. It’s easy for children to think they’re on vacation during this time which you can’t blame them right? This is a perfect opportunity for parents to spend time during the week with their children in ways that aren’t possible when school is in session. Block out certain times during the day just for fun. I see many parents walking and riding bicycles with their children. These are priceless moments to form lasting memories with our children. The rituals that are created now can be maintained when school is back in session and become new ways of bonding with your child.
Being in this pandemic is stressful with uncertainty for children and especially while during timesharing with the other parent. We can still create a safe environment for them during this time. Working together with the other parent to keep timesharing and co-parenting the same as much as possible will allow our children to move through this time easier and will less stress. Isn’t that what we want for them and us as well? Stay safe and healthy.