The entire world is suffering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Those who have a pending family law matter are facing unprecedented issues as the court systems have come to a virtual standstill and the bench and bar are grappling with how to keep cases in the family court system headed toward some type of resolution whether that be settlement or trial.

As we all find ourselves in unprecedented times, the matrimonial attorneys at Jaspan Schlesinger compiled the following tips to guide individuals currently in the midst of a divorce proceeding, whether it be an initial proceeding or a post-divorce proceeding:

Tips for Co-Parenting During COVID-19

By now, we’ve all seen the news story about a Florida Emergency Room physician who was deprived of her custodial rights during this pandemic.  If you haven’t, click here. This case and countless others that may not have made national news, highlight the very real and sometimes heart-breaking circumstances that divorced parents in high-conflict custody disputes may find themselves in.

For this reason, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and the American Association of Family and Conciliation Courts have issued standards to address these very sensitive issues. The Standards can be found here.

For many families, parents are able to work together and come to resolutions regarding how to navigate custody matters. In other situations, where parents cannot easily communicate, it may be the time where parents put aside past differences and work together in the best interests of the children.  If parents cannot amicably navigate parental access during this time, then the default is the custody orders that are currently in place despite how inconvenient they may be.

At this time, attorneys in Nassau and Suffolk counties are able to seek court intervention to intercede and break the stalemate between parents.  However, just because attorneys may be able to seek court intervention does not mean that the court will entertain the request.  Parents must be able to keep the lines of communication open by putting their past differences aside.

If you find yourself in a situation that requires attorney assistance, please know the lawyers of the matrimonial practice group are available by email, telephone and video conferencing to assist in the resolution of these matters.

Tips for Determining How to Handle Financial Obligations During COVID-19

Two additional blog posts by Samantha Guido will address the standards for modification of support matters in specific detail.  There can be no doubt that the tumult in the financial markets and the record-setting unemployment will cause many individuals to question what the financial future might be for them.  If your financial circumstances have been altered, it is important that you seek the advice of a lawyer to see if anything can be done to help alleviate your current or future financial stress.

Tips for Handling Divorce Negotiations During COVID-19

If you are an individual business-owner in an industry that is suffering from the effects of COVID-19, a new business valuation may be required.  If you and your spouse are dividing retirement accounts, it may be important to consider delaying the equitable distribution of accounts until the market volatility levels out. Once a divorce is finalized, you may no longer receive health benefits from your spouse and require medical insurance coverage.  Now is not the time to be without medical insurance coverage.  Similarly, now is not the time to rush into a settlement out of fear of the unknown.  As previously stated, it is important that you seek the advice of a lawyer to guide you during these unprecedented times.

Jaspan Schlesinger is committed to helping our clients make their way through this very trying time.  Our offices are virtually open and we are monitoring the courthouse operations and available via email, phone or video-conferencing to answer your questions and concerns. The material in this blog is meant only to provide general information and is not a substitute nor is it legal advice to you.  Readers of this article should seek specific legal advice from legal counsel of their choice.   You can reach Marissa Pullano at 516-393-8297 or or Hanna Kirkpatrick at 516-393-8295 or