TOP 5 QUESTIONS & ANSWERS DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
Am I Obligated to Follow My Court-Approved Parenting Plan
Yes. Sticking to the plan is the easiest solution, and will help ease the stress and keep things at a normal pace. Governor Inslee’s new “Stay Safe Stay Healthy” Plan allows you to transport your child to another family member for caretaking. Mike Faulk, a spokesperson for Inslee, said the governor's order should not impact parenting plans at all. Parents should continue to drop off and pick up their children as usual. "People are allowed to leave their homes but are encouraged to limit travel," he said. Any disputes between parents over legally-binding parenting agreements should be handled in the usual way, in accordance with existing state laws (see article here).
Am I Obligated to Pay Child Support If I Have Been Laid off or Experiencing a Significantly Reduced Income?
Yes. What could happen if child support is not paid during the crisis? Washington State can take serious action against those with a child support arrearage including placing liens on personal property, taking a tax refund, suspending driver’s licenses, and reducing credit scores. If you have been laid off or have lost income during this crisis and have an open case with the state’s Division of Child Support, you should not delay and contact DCS by phone or email.
What Is Happening to My Pending Case? Are All Washington Court Hearings Postponed?
The courts are still handling some matters, using telephonic or video conferencing but King County Superior Court has canceled all civil trials scheduled through June 8th. Please call us to discuss the status of your case. The King County Superior Court Clerk has updated information on their website.
What Can Be Done About Domestic Abuse During the Crisis in Washington State?
Protection Orders can still be obtained through the courts and enforced during the crisis. Shelters are still open and practicing good hygiene and social distancing to keep residents safe. The Governor’s Stay at Home order specifically exempts victims of domestic violence, encouraging them to leave and seek a safe location. For information on filing a domestic violence protection order on your own you can contact the Protection Order Advocacy Program at the Superior Court by telephone: Seattle 206-477-103 or Kent 206-477-3758. Click here for information on how to seek a protection order by email
Do I Have to Wait Until the Crisis Is Over to Begin the Divorce Process?
No. the Governor’s order allows certain professional services to continue working, including “Professional services, such as legal or accounting and tax preparation services, when necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities and critical sector services.”Our office is well equipped to assist our clients remotely through email, phone, and teleconference and we are continuing to provide services during this critical period.
We're Here to Help
We understand that these times are trying, If you feel divorce is in your future, and the safety of your children is the utmost priority, contact the family law lawyers at Molly B. Kenny LLC for the legal help and general support.