Many Family Court Cases on Hold During Coronavirus Outbreak

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“The courts are just simply not hearing it at this time,” attorney Rich Rochlin said.

They can be some of the most contentious cases families face, divorce and child custody battles and for now they are on hold.

“Some folks are being vindictive about it and intentionally withholding the child or making decisions hoping that a court isn’t going to hold them to account because of the unique nature of this pandemic,” attorney Rich Rochlin said.

Rochlin says his 30 to 40 cases all at various stages are now at a standstill after courts across Connecticut shut down amid coronavirus concerns. The only family court cases judges are hearing in Hartford County now are those that involve psychological or physical harm.

But Rochlin says through technology, mediation and collaboration are still possible

“A lot of lawyers are trained in this field to be able to do a Zoom call and hear the issues and mediate and find a compromise or a Band-Aid at least on this problem so we can get you to the finish line in a few months hopefully,” Rochlin said.

Rochlin says while issues like asset division require a court order, the paperwork can be completed now and uploaded to the court.

“We live in a completely different landscape right now :06 as always children’s needs and concerns have to come first,” Psychologist Dr. Stephen Humphrey

Humphrey says many mental health professionals are still available to virtually mediate with families which he’s advising to stick to court orders and a plan.

“They may have different decisions to make and probably should be planning in advance for what happens if one parent gets sick or when child gets sick,” Humphrey said.

Humphrey recommends families sign-up for online co-parenting services like FamilyWizard or Fayr to help maintain structure at a time when family issues can only be resolved outside of court.

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