The last few months have impacted us all, bringing uncertainty to much of the world. Information and connection assist to ease the uncertainty we are all facing. The Law Office of Tracey L. Perrick, LLC would like to reach out to you and provide information to help guide you through this challenging time.
On May 22, 2020, the Maryland Judiciary issued its most recent Administrative Order, which sets forth the plan for a phased-in reopening of the Maryland Courts. Not all matters will be handled in person right away, and the phased-in approach does not end until October 5, 2020. However, all of the Maryland Courts are still accepting filings, so it is important for you to know that you may still file your family law case. You can expect that due to the Courts initially being completely closed, and now with a phased-in reopening, there will be a significant backlog of cases. This means that the sooner you file your case, the sooner you will “get in line” to have your first court date scheduled when the Courts reopen. Perhaps now, more than ever, it is imperative not to unnecessarily delay your filing.
Tracey is continuing to file cases and advocate for her clients and offers the ability to all her clients and potential clients to meet in-person or remotely. She is available to answer questions and keep you informed during these uncertain times.
The Maryland Judiciary Speaks to Custody. The Maryland Judiciary has issued a Statement on Matters Concerning Children and Families. Additionally, the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts has issued “Seven Guidelines for Parentings who are Divorced/Separated and Sharing Custody of Children During the COVID19 Pandemic.” It is important for you to know that the instructions are clear: If parents cannot reach an agreement on how to share custody of their child(ren) during the COVID-19 pandemic, if there is an existing court custody order, then that order MUST be followed.
Problem-Solving Custody and Child Support Issues During the COVID-19 Pandemic. There are many people that are separated but do not have existing custody or child support court orders in place. How do these individuals resolve custody and/or child support disputes with the other parent? There is always the option of filing for custody and/or child support as the courts remain open and accepting of family law filings. In the meantime, however, it is usually best for families to try to reach a resolution outside of court. This could mean communicating directly with the other parent to reach an agreement. Or, hiring attorneys and attending mediation with your attorney and a trained mediator via Zoom or another web platform. You could also choose to engage in settlement discussions with the other parent through your attorneys. As always, it is always best practice to speak to an attorney before signing any agreement and/or filing any matter. There ARE options out there, and it is best to speak with an experienced family law attorney who can guide you through your options and keep you fully informed.
Remote Notarizations. On March 30, 2020, Governor Hogan issued an Executive Order temporarily waiving the requirement in Maryland for in-person notarization of documents, which would include any agreements you reach regarding any family law matter. The Executive Order sets forth many specific requirements for remote notarizations, so it is important to use a reputable remote notary who is adhering to all of the legal requirements set forth in the Governor’s Executive Order and the Secretary of State’s additional guidance. ARN Family Law is well-versed in these requirements to ensure a notary you may choose is following the new requirements, including utilizing a proper vendor.