Coronavirus – Stauff & Gross Law

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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.