S.A.F.E. During Court Closures
Is your family law case “on hold” until the courts re-open? No. Certain matters are delayed, but there is work than can and should be done to move your case along in the process. Orange Coast Family Law, APC remains operational (remotely) and continues to provide legal services, including mediation services, telephonic and virtual strategy meetings, telephonic settlement conferences and hearing preparation during this volatile time in our society and legal community. Orange Coast Family Law adapts and remains fluid with the times.
It is time to be S.A.F.E.
STRATEGIZE: Strategize about how to approach the issues in your case, or more importantly, resolve those issues pending the re-opening of the courts. This is key. There may be a Request for Order that can be prepared and organized for filing. Outlining your declaration, gathering exhibits, making a list of potential witnesses, conducting witness interviews, and more. There is much to do to properly prepare.
ANALYZE: Analyze your legal issues. This is a great way to stay organized with the game plan for your case. During a downtime in the court process, there are things you can do to get your case ready. You can collect documents and information through crafted discovery. You can confer with financial experts about the financial issues in your case. You can schedule telephonic or virtual meetings with a therapist or reunification counselor. Taking the time to analyze what is before you and how you will address your legal issues is important for any case and especially now.
FOCUS: Focus on family first. Prioritize what is important. Stay healthy, both physically and mentally. Focus on your children. Focus on preserving your financial estate rather than draining it through litigation. Focus on the end goal of your case and how to get from point A to point B. There is no time like the present to change the trajectory of your family law matter. Focus on which issues can be resolved, trying to deal with those head on now, even if only for a partial resolution. This will minimize what must be addressed in court at a later date once the courts re-open.
EXHALE: Take a moment to breathe. Close your eyes, take a deep breath in, and exhale. You will find your way. Analyze your legal issues and give added thought to case strategy for resolving those issues amicably or through a planned and thoughtful course of action in court.
In the arena of family law matters, levels of stress and emotions often run high. In times such as the present, with the dangers of COVID-19 on the minds of many, that stress and emotion is amplified. People panic. People are losing their jobs, facing a reduction of income, unable to meet their monthly expenses and support obligations, have to shuttle children back and forth between homes with the concern of exposure to the Coronavirus on their mind, and all of this in the face of either no orders in place or orders that are not being followed by the other party/parent. There are many questions to be answered.
If you are a family law litigant who had a court hearing scheduled, hearings are being pushed out past June 1st, unless of course your matter falls within one of the emergency exceptions, namely domestic violence issues or instances where there is a risk of imminent harm to a child. Court clerks are scrambling to provide notice to parties of continued hearings. With respect to the Orange County Superior Court where many of our cases are filed, most matters are being set for a Status Conference or Voluntary Settlement Conference (VSC) after June 1st. During the VSC litigants and their attorneys, where applicable, will come to court to discuss the status of their cases, compliance with court orders during the period of court closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic and/or to assess what type of a hearing should to be set or re-set to address unresolved issues. The uncertainty of it all causes a bleak outlook for many. We are here to help alleviate some of that stress with legal guidance, feedback and answers to your questions. It is an opportune time to use creativity to resolve legal issues when calm is needed most.
Let us lead you to calmer waters.
Orange Coast Family Law attorneys offer a free phone consultation to get you on your way. You may submit an inquiry through our website at www.orangecoastfamilylaw.com or send an email directly to partner Ashley Sedaghat at firstname.lastname@example.org to coordinate an appointment today!