COVID-19 Updates – Stauff & Gross Law

The North Carolina Family Court Advisory Commission provided guidance to families with custody or visitation orders already in place. The Commission is stressing that parents should do their best to provide consistency and stability for children if at all possible but should work together for the child’s best interests while also following advice of healthcare professionals.

You can see the full recommendations here: https://www.nccourts.gov/assets/inline-files/Custody%20and%20Visitation%20Recommendations_FINAL.pdf?oNHms1_UlIk.fBhyCxg8nWVR87.ougsC

If you have questions you should consult with an attorney about your specific situation in light of these recommendations and guidance. Our office remains open for telephone and Skype consults for both current and prospective clients.

As a result of the Coronavirus, the North Carolina court system extended its closure until June 1, 2020, to assist with slowing the spread of the virus. A limited number of courtrooms remain open to hear certain issues. For example, hearings for domestic violence protective orders or emergency child custody issues. However, the vast majority of hearings are continued automatically. Unfortunately, as the duration of social distancing remains in flux there is no guarantee courts will reopen within that time frame. For the most recent updates, you can review the court system website here: https://www.nccourts.gov/covid-19-coronavirus-updates

Our office will be in touch with current clients who have court dates between now and June 1 if we have not already to let them know their specific situation. We can provide consultations and appointments by either telephone or video conferencing to save both current clients and prospective clients unnecessary trips around town.

You are most likely still responsible for any child support or spousal support obligations if you are one of the many whose income is affected with the current “stay at home” order or—even worse—lost your job. If your amount is part of a court order that amount is due on the date ordered.

However, that obligation amount can change if you experience a “substantial change of circumstances.” The loss of income or employment due to recent events may very well qualify as a substantial change in circumstances. In order to seek relief from the payments you owe per a court order, you must file a motion to modify.  If you file a motion to modify the amount now the court may retroactively change the amount back to the first of the month after you filed your motion.

Every case is different though, so it is important that you consult with an attorney.  Contact our office at 919-783-1260 now to set up a consultation with one of our attorneys to discuss modifying your support obligation.

As a result of the Coronavirus, the North Carolina court system has largely shut down for 30 days to assist with slowing the spread of the virus. A limited number of courtrooms remain open to hear certain issues. However, the vast majority of hearings are continued automatically for 30 days. Tentatively, 30 days from the start of the shutdown would bring us to the week of April 13. However, as the duration of social distancing remains in flux there is no guarantee courts will reopen within that time frame. For the most recent updates, you can review the court system website here: https://www.nccourts.gov/covid-19-coronavirus-updates

Our office will be in touch with current clients who have court dates within these 30 days if we have not already to let them know their specific situation. We can provide consultations and appointments by either telephone or video conferencing to save both current clients and prospective clients unnecessary trips around town.

SGP is doing its part to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community while also maintaining our high standards in serving our clients.

In doing so, we are using other methods to work with our clients rather than meeting face-to-face. Fortunately, modern technology provides many resources, such as Skype, email, and conference calls. We can offer these services for folks who are not presently a client but need to discuss their situation with one of our attorneys. 

If events get to the point where we cannot staff our office we have a plan in place as well. Most of our physical files are also in digital format and saved to our secure network for our attorneys and staff to access from home. If you call the office and leave a message, rest assured that a member of our staff will receive it and call you back soon.

For the staff at SGP it is business as usual in this new (temporary) normal. We will continue to work on our current client’s cases and are also accepting new cases. Do not hesitate to let us know if you have any questions or how we can serve you better.