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.
PPP Loans & Foreign Owned Companies
The Payroll Protection Program (PPP) is a federal loan program to assist small businesses in covering payroll and other specific costs. Small businesses apply for a loan and, if they meet certain requirements, they can request for forgiveness of the amounts owed.
When the PPP came out, the loan application included a question addressing whether the applicant was a US citizen (USC) or a lawful permanent resident (LPR). This was interpreted by many to mean that small businesses owned by non USC’s or LPR’s did not qualify for these loans. However, the actual law did not impose this requirement. In April, the loan application was amended and the question regarding immigration status was removed, making the form consistent with the wording of the law.
What this means is that PPP loans are available for small businesses owned by non USC’s or LPR’s. Of course, non USC or LPR small business owners have additional factors to take into consideration when deciding whether to apply for a PPP loan. Some of these factors include:
- Public charge issues: Will the administration consider the forgiveness of the loan when deciding public charge issues in future applications for immigration benefits?
- Forgiveness of loan and the requirement that a petitioning company be able to sustain itself and its employees
- Is there a benefit to applying for the loan and not seeking forgiveness (e.g., lower interest rates, no personal guarantee requirement)?
Non USC or LPR small business owner should consult with their immigration and business attorneys in order to consider whether applying for a PPP to stay in business is in their best interest.
If you have questions about your immigration case,, it’s important to speak with an experienced immigration attorney to discuss your specific case and circumstances. Attorney Evelyn J. Pabon Figueroa is an Associate in the Orlando office of CPLS, P.A. She is a member of the firm’s Immigration Practice Group. Contact Attorney Evelyn today at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss any immigration issues you may be experiencing.
You’ve Been Convicted of a Crime and Lost at Appeal, Now What?
You were charged with committing a crime. At the trial you were found guilty and sentenced. You filed an appeal and lost. What do you do next? 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, set aside, or correct your judgment or sentence. Florida rules provide reasons that can be used to support the request and in the motion you will argue that these reasons are present in your case.
You only have 2 years after losing your appeal to file the motion, except in the following situations where you have additional time:
1. The sentence exceeds the limits allowed by law.
2. There is new evidence.
3. A new fundamental constitutional right has been established.
4. You retained an attorney to file the motion for post-conviction relief but the attorney did not file the motion.
If you or a loved one has been convicted and lost the appeal, 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.
You have been convicted of a crime, lost on appeal, and are considering filing a motion for post-conviction relief. But, before you decide to hire the attorney, you have questions about the fees and costs. Many attorneys will charge you a flat fee that is high enough to cover the representation from the initial investigation phase to the hearing phase. My approach is a little different.
Before I review and investigate your case, I do not know if there are arguments that support a motion for post-conviction relief and, if we decide to move forward with the filing of the motion, I won’t know if a hearing will be scheduled until a few months after the filing. Because of this, I divide my fees into two phases:
Initial Phase: I will charge you a flat fee that will cover the review of the file and the investigation into what happened at the trial level in order to determine possible arguments in support of the motion. After this is complete, I will discuss my findings with you in order to decide if we are moving forward with the motion.
Motion/Hearing Phase: If, after we discuss my findings, you decide to hire me for the second phase, we will enter into a new flat fee agreement. Part of the flat fee will be earned at the time the agreement is signed and the other part will be deposited into our trust account. If the judge schedules a hearing on our motion, the amount that was deposited into the trust account will be transferred to our operating account and treated as earned. But, if the judge makes a decision without a hearing, this amount will be returned to you.
Costs: Sometimes we will need to pay outside parties for their services in relation to your case (e.g., ordering the transcripts of court events at the trial level, depositions). In these cases, you will be responsible for making these payments. We will contact you to discuss the amount being charged before we agree to any services/amounts.
Recently, a husband and wife were having a disagreement over how to discipline their child. This escalated into a full blown argument. Voices were raised and tensions were heightened. Unfortunately, a physical altercation ensued and the police were called. One of the parents was arrested and charged with battery and a domestic violence injunction was issued.
Sadly, this happens everyday everywhere. What made this incident different? This occurred during the times we live in now – the COVID-19 pandemic – a disease that plays no favorites and has affected everyone in some way or another. All of us are on edge – we may have lost our job with bills that can’t be paid and uncertainty on when they will be able to. We may have family or friends that were infected and their health in doubt or sadly have passed away. Most if not all of us are sheltered in place or ordered to stay home which feels isolating at best.
All of these stressors that we are all dealing with were also affecting these parents. What separated them from most of us is that they were going through a divorce. What made this situation more difficult was they were still living together. You see both parents lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic. Neither parent was financially able to live independent of the other. They were forced to live under one roof, shelter in place with no income and also struggle with the end of their marriage. It was not surprising that these events created a perfect storm that end in physical violence.
Living with this pandemic is stressful even in the best of circumstances. It has physical, financial, and emotional costs. But combined with the stressors of divorce, it resulted in an unintended consequence and now the parents are forced to deal with the criminal justice system.
What would be helpful in this situation? Reaching out for support from family and friends and engaging a counselor to help in keeping the peace throughout the divorce. During this time, its imperative that both parents have legal counsel that are supportive and cooperative in helping both of them achieve a fair and peaceful outcome. If resources are an issue which is not uncommon during this time, a mediator can be engaged to help the parents reach an equally fair result.
We are navigating through unchartered waters. It can become rough and choppy during a divorce. Make sure you have the proper guidance, direction and support to guide you during this perfect storm.
If you have additional questions or concerns Contact Attorney Anthony Diaz today at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss any family or marital legal issues you may be experiencing.
If you currently have a pending legal matter during Covid-19 then most assuredly, you have already been informed, either by the Court or an attorney, that Covid-19 will likely cause a delay in your legal case. In some areas of law, that may not be a big deal, such as where a large bank has their foreclosure case against a homeowner delayed, but in other areas of the law, such delays can have very real and long-lasting implications. One of these areas of law is family law. While most Courts throughout the state remain open in some capacity, some courts are only hearing emergency matters, so if you had a hearing or trial cancelled as a result of Covid-19, you may be wondering how and when your case will move forward.
While each county in Central Florida is taking slightly different approaches, many Courts in Orange and Osceola Counties remain open to hear family law disputes, however, the ways in which those hearings are being conducted are changing rapidly. Many courts throughout the state are now utilizing video conferencing capabilities, whether it be through Skype, FaceTime, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Webex or another video conferencing platform, and the Court has adjusted, on the fly, in order to try to keep cases moving.
In trying to provide parents some guidance during these uncertain times, local Courts are issuing temporary orders during Covid-19 addressing timesharing issues. Some Courts have ordered that regularly scheduled timesharing should try proceed as normal, with each parent being reminded to be more cognizant of additional precautions that may need to be taken during exchanges. Other Courts have taken a more strict approach to ensuring that stay-in-place orders remain adhered to by permitting a parent with majority timesharing to keep the children until such stay-in-place orders are lifted. In that scenario, the parent who is being denied in-person visitation should receive more frequent telephone and video vitiations while the stay-in-place orders remain in effect, and it is also likely in many cases that a parent who is denied timesharing as a result of Covid-19 will be awarded make-up timesharing to make up for any time that they may have lost with their children. In fact, there are local orders that state if a Court finds that a parent may have been unreasonably withholding access and contact with a child during Covid-19, then the rules of contempt would still apply and it’s possible that parent could be held in contempt of court for unreasonably restricting access and timesharing.
If you have questions about access to your children and timesharing during Covid-19 you will want to contact a family law attorney who is familiar with the many Administrative Orders coming out from the Florida Supreme Court and local courts to ensure you know how your specific county is dealing with timesharing issues during these uncertain times. If you feel that you are being denied reasonable access, or are not sure how timesharing should proceed for your family, it may be necessary to contact a family law attorney in order to ensure you are complying with Court orders and taking the necessary steps to keep your children protected from Covid-19.
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 email@example.com to discuss any family or marital legal issues you may be experiencing.
DEFENDING COMMERCIAL EVICTIONS DURING COVID-19/CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
Small businesses, perhaps more than any other enterprises, have been slammed hard by the present abrupt, catastrophic economic decline. Landlords holding leases on the premises where the vast majority of small business entrepreneurs operate are serving, or threatening to serve, eviction notices.
Due to the combination of “stay at home” directives and general fear of contracting the deadly Covid-19/coronavirus, in-person customers for goods and services have dropped to near zero. The inevitable consequence is inability of small business owners to meet the financial demands of their lease. It is not uncommon for the leases under which small business owners operate to not contain any reference to anything other than eminent domain or fire damage as justification for nonpayment of rent. In leases prepared prior to the business conditions which now exist, little, or no, attention has been given to what is now upon us, an economic disaster of proportions not seen since the Great Depression between 1929 and 1939.
BUT THERE IS HOPE!
We at CPLS, P.A. (The Center For Professional Legal Services) have taken the initiative for our clients. Although there is a paucity of Florida law addressing “economic disaster” as an affirmative defense in an action for breach of contract we have found some cases which should be of help in establishing such defense in light of today’s economic conditions.
The affirmative defense of impossibility of performance has been defined as
“…(referring) to those factual situations, too numerous to
catalogue, where the purposes, for which the contract was
made, have, on one side, become impossible to perform.”
A major issue inherent in the “impossibility” defense is lack of foreseeability of the event upon which reliance is made. In Florida, hurricanes of certain intensities and cyclical declines in real estate values have been held to be foreseeable events in existence at the inception of the contract, thus defeating the “impossibility” defense.
The root cause of the crash of commercial inactivity is a combination of widespread fear of contracting a deadly, highly contagious, viral disease for which there is no known cure coupled with governmental directives for the general public to self-quarantine in an effort to prevent proliferation of the disease. I suggest it is safe to argue the ensuing nationwide near total discontinuance of traditional economic activity was not foreseeable.
The concept of force majeure is not to be confused with “Act of God”. Act of God means “…only an unforeseeable act exclusively occasioned by the violence of nature without interference of any human agency.” A force majeure is “(a)n event or effect that the parties could not have anticipated or controlled.” Black’s Law Dictionary, Seventh Editiion1999.
Reservation of “Act of God” as an affirmative defense for nonperformance must be contained in the underlying contract in order to be available. It appears as though, in the absence of express exclusion in the underlying contract, force majeure is more likely to be successful.
It would seem Hurricane Andrew, which swept through Florida in 1992, qualifies as an act of God as contrasted with the huge earthquake which occurred in Haiti., the latter being more clearly a force majeure.
For further information or answers to your questions, contract Attorney
J. Leonard Fleet, Esq. at firstname.lastname@example.org