We are all being impacted personally and professionally by COVID-19, as we are seeing loved ones get sick, travel and social plans cancelled, and our schools closed. Rest assured the courthouses in Florida are still very much open, and they are triaging our next steps moving forward. Family law client are particularly vulnerable at this time because children, school, and parenting plans are all being impacted by the changes caused by COVID-19.
The following article will tell you what you need to know (or at least point you in the right direction) in understanding what is going on in family law cases from a legal perspective in Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Brevard counties in Florida.
Judges in Florida are issuing administrative orders to address the COVID-19 crisis. What is an administrative order? It is an order that universally applies to certain types of cases, and they are found only on the Clerk’s website or the Judge’s webpage. They are not entered in each and every case, and you will not typically know about them, unless your attorney lets you know. Below are the links to administrative orders which address COVID-19.
Administrative Orders Addressing Coronavirus/COVID-19
Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Canady issued an Administrative Order that gives the Chief Judges of the various Circuits in Florida the ability to limit most face-to-face legal proceedings starting March 16th and continuing for two weeks. This Order also authorizes local judges to use remote electronic means whenever possible to conduct hearings.
Chief Judge Donald Myers, Jr. of Orange and Osceola Counties, has recently issued an Amended Temporary Standing Administrative Order Re: Parenting in Domestic Relations Cases, Orange & Osceola Counties. Chief Judge Lisa Davidson in Brevard and Seminole Counties, has also issued an administration order called Continuation of Operations Based Upon COVID-19 Concerns. These orders govern cases in Orange, Osceola, Brevard, Seminole counties, and provide guidance from the court's perspective regarding COVID-19.
What COVID-19 Mean for Family Law Clients?
For Family Law clients, attorneys need you to be patient during these times and understand that your attorneys and the court systems are moving slower than usual. The Judges are all handling things differently in every courtroom and there is no consistency at this time because every case is different. If there is any ambiguity in your parenting plan, or other agreement, and you would like to know what to do in light of COVID-19, call or email your attorney.
Family Law attorneys will continue to take the necessary precautions that have been issued by the Governor and county officials in order to do our part in keeping the public safe. As we navigate through this challenging time, Brusca Law wishes you and your families a safe and healthy next few weeks and will continue to offer free consultations to help you understand COVID-19 and how it might impact your case.