A quick COVID update from The Durst Firm

This week marks a significant milestone as many business begin to reopen as NJ continues to work through the COVID-19 pandemic. Like all of you, we hope that the progress continues and that remaining restrictions can be lifted in a safe and practical manner.

For the time being, the Firm will continue to operate remotely. As much as we miss seeing our clients, colleagues, and court staff in person, there is no need to assume any associated risk at this time. We have adapted our practices and processes to be able to maintain our level of service during this crisis. As we move towards a return to our “real” office, guidelines will be implemented to make in-office meetings as safe as possible. As court continue to re-open (more on that in a separate post) we will inform our clients of the rules and regulations implemented by the Court. We encourage everyone to remain responsible for their own health as well as the health of those around you.

We have found that many of the “virtual” functions such as ZOOM calls, phone conferences and the like have been incredibly convenient for our clients as there is no need to travel to and from the office. We will continue to utilize these measures when appropriate as they save time and money. The virtual court proceedings have gone well, and again, allow for a more efficient and cost-effective event. While there is no substitution for a live hearing and we cannot control whether the court will maintain some of these practices, we believe doing so would benefit all concerned.

At The Durst Firm,our clients remain our primary concern and we will continue to serve new and existing clients as safely as possible.

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NJ Family Court remains open and operating

Continuing to serve our client’s through this pandemic has been a challenge but we are proud to say that The Durst Firm has remained able to provide uninterrupted service to both existing and new clients during this time. We hope anyone reading this remains safe and healthy.

We have provided continuing updates to our current clients as to how their case can and will move forward in this new and challenging environment.

When speaking with individuals calling to arrange a consultation, too many of the calls go something like this: “I’d really like to get my divorce started/file for child support/enforce my settlement agreement/seek to relocate out of state with my child, etc, etc, BUT..” And I know that the their next words will be “the courts are closed”

THIS IS NOT ACCURATE. Please know that while the courts are still not conducting in person appearances except in very limited circumstances they remain open and are conducting business. You can file for divorce. Motions can be filed and oral arguments continue to be conducted by phone and/or video.

If you want to move forward with your family law matter you can. And the Durst Firm is here to help. Our focus is on family law.

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Start thinking about those summer plans

The COVID-19 pandemic and the impact on our daily lives has continued for longer than any of us imagined or expected. And while the situation seems to be improving, I don’t think we are out of the woods yet. Our children have been significantly impacted by the remote learning, the cancellation of Spring sports, and milestones such as proms and graduations. But what about their summer?

Each family has different approaches for summer. Some kids stay home. Others participate in day camps or sleep away camps. Many travel to visit family and friends during their summer break. How all of these practices may be affected remains to be seen and questions will certainly arise for parents to work through together. For example, even if a camp reopens, are you comfortable sending your child there? If you will still be working from home, how can the needs of the child still be met? if your child visits grandparents, or anyone for that matter, what safety precautions should be implemented? There are no clear cut answers to any of these questions. The best advice is to begin addressing them now.

If you have questions about summer parenting time, The Durst Firm is here to help/

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Tech tips for your divorce

Technology is making many facets of our lives easier to manage and organize. This can certainly be true when it comes to your divorce. Whether or not you choose to work with The Durst Firm, these tips may still prove helpful.

First, the majority of your communication with your attorney can be accomplished by email. Email is time and cost efficient. It can be sent on your schedule (but understand that if you’re up sending emails at 3 I the morning, we might not be!), allows you to organize your thoughts and creates a record of your communications. So, YOU MUST ESTABLISH A PRIVATE AND SECURE email address. Don’t use a “family” email, change your current password it’s your spouse knows it. It is suggested that you not use your work related email.

Second, change the PIN code for your cell phone and voicemail. Confidential communications could be reviewed by your spouse if they have access to your device. Program your attorney’s work number and email into your phone so that you have easy access to that information.

Visit the ‘App Store”. Find an app that lets you scan and save necessary documents as a PDF. Being able to send your attorney documents they need in a PDF format allows for easy transfers and retention. When you are being billed hourly, “easy” saves your money. Along these lines, don’t store information on your computer. Explore options for cloud based storage services. Many are free or low costs and using them provides an extra level of security.

Maintain a record of your passwords in a secure location. Don’t write them all down in a notebook labeled “passwords”! True story.Make sure you have access to all joint accounts and begin downloading and saving the statements.

With these tips in mind, you can streamline the process and hopefully lend some order to the chaos.

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Extra time on your hands? Re-read your divorce settlement agreement!

When a client walks out of the courthouse after finalizing their divorce, there are generally overwhelmed with a flood of emotions and that is completely understandable. Time to recover and relax a bit. Time to move forward. Many people believe that once your divorce is done, its done and all the paperwork can be hidden away in a file cabinet.

However, as time moves on, it would be prudent to revisit your settlement agreement to insure that its terms have been implemented. Have all the financial accounts been divided and closed? Have you each obtained your own auto insurance? What about health insurance? If life insurance is required are the policies in place with the correct benefit amounts and beneficiary designations?

A great deal of time, energy, and money was spent on getting to the point where that Settlement Agreement became a reality. The terms were important then and remain important now. Make sure you are in compliance with your agreement and that your ex-spouse is as well.

Regardless of whether you used the Durst Firm for your divorce we would be happy to review your agreement with you to determine in any further action is necessary. We can even conduct our review remotely during this pandemic.

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