How is COVID-19 affecting the legal community?
As the situation around the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to unfold, we are starting to see the effects on the legal community.
Most Missouri Court hearings, with few exceptions, are suspended through April 3.
For information on how Missouri Courts are reacting, visit https://www.courts.mo.gov/page.jsp?id=151673
Individuals should check with their attorney or the courthouse regarding the status of any upcoming court appearance.
Some detention centers, including Clay County Detention Center, have suspended personal visitations until further notice. Anyone with a loved one in a detention facility should call the facility for current policies prior to appearing for any visits.
Along with closures and continuances, many legal questions will continue to develop as we move forward in the coming days and weeks, such as:
– Is COVID-19 good cause to deny parenting time or otherwise not comply with a court order?
– If schools close, how will parents share parenting time with their children?
– Will supervised visits or exchanges be suspended and how do parents otherwise ensure they are getting contact with their children?
– Can a parent restrict certain individuals, including grandparents and other extended family, from seeing their child?
This is a developing issue and many of the questions may remain unanswered. With any legal question, the answer is usually “it depends” and the best advice is always to consult with an attorney to decide how best to proceed.
Our office is able to accommodate virtual contact, such as phone consultations, communicating via email, accepting online payments, or using other virtual software for meetings and appointments.
We understand that this situation is causing additional stress and anxiety for many. As Mr. Rogers would say, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping”. If we can be of assistance in any way, legal or otherwise, please let us know.