March 18, 2020

Greetings, DLG Community:

We hope you are all hanging in there the best you can and staying safe and healthy. These times are different and uncertain for all of us, so I want to reach out about new issues we are starting to grapple with in case they impact you. The onset of the COVID-19 situation brings new issues to family law that mean many of you have serious and urgent issues about parenting time. While this is new and uncharted territory for the entire family law bar, we are here to guide you with any concerns you have.

The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) and American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers AMML have issued some helpful guidelines regarding child-related issues, which you can read here.

This includes guidelines for parents who are divorced/separated and sharing custody of children during this time.

We realize that this is not particularly helpful if you have a situation where the other parent is not willing or able to put aside the battle mentality and co-parent for the benefit of your child(ren) and family as a whole but hope springs eternal. We are here to help with both the positive amicable solutions and the more difficult situations where you are dealing with a co-parent who is not able to forgo the battle and requires you to engage in it.

Please continue to reach out and connect with us with any and all concerns. We will work with you to come up with a solid actionable plan given the circumstances.

I am also offering some non-legal advice today. If you are staying home, which we hope you are able to do, keep a routine and keep yourself healthy both physically and mentally. Some tips that may seem obvious – and some not so obvious.

1.     Get dressed every day
2.     Eat breakfast of some kind to get going.
3.     Get outside – you can still go for a walk.
4.     Use fitness apps to do routines at home. I just discovered Yoga for Beginners, Mind + Body. Easy and something new to add to any routine. Go find something new for you. There are many free options available.
5.     If you are having trouble sleeping, powering down, or want to find some space in the world that is yours alone, try using the Calm app. Do not read the news on your phone or let CNN barrage you before you try to sleep or while you work.
6.     If you are in recovery, the website is offering free online meetings. Losing a recovery community righty now can be hard. You don’t have to be alone.
7.     Look into the free learning apps online for children stuck at home. This website has a catalog you may find helpful.
8.     Find something for your brain to do online that is not work related. I found this collection of some of the world’s best museums that can give you a virtual tour. I love a good museum. We just returned from visiting the Uffizi Gallery in Florence a few weeks ago just before Italy was on lockdown. It was one my all-time favorites. Visit it!
9.     Everyone is spending more time online so why not join us online? We are on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and even YouTube. We will be hosting free webinars in the coming weeks and more information will be available soon. We also co-host a great free Meetup group that typically meets monthly in person, but will be meeting virtually for now. We hope to see you online!

Stay healthy both mentally and physically during this time. Stay safe and know that we truly are thinking of all of you. You matter to me and our team. You are all part of our community. If we can answer questions for you that are coming up for you, please reach out.

Best Regards,

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Michelle Dellino