To our Ciesla Beeler Clients, Friends and Colleagues:
We hope that this email message finds you and your loved ones healthy and adjusting to this temporary normal.
We were informed late yesterday that Cook County Circuit Court Chief Judge Timothy Evans postponed most court cases system wide until May 18, 2020. Judge Evans, in his press release issued yesterday, indicated that this decision was motivated by a continued effort to protect the public's health.
Domestic Relations Division Presiding Judge Grace Dickler has entered a variety of orders designed to keep Domestic Relations cases moving forward, specifically:
New Cases are being accepted by the Clerk's office, this means you can start your divorce, custody action, etc. and not wait until the Court opens;
Emergency Motions will be addressed by the Court via Order, telephone conference, Zoom hearing or at the last resort, an in-person hearing - this includes Petitions for Orders of Protection;
Non-Emergency Motions can be submitted and addressed by the Court during the closure;
Agreed Temporary Orders (that do not dispose of a case) but are truly temporary can be submitted for entry;
Prove Ups (the Court appearance necessary to enter a divorce judgment) can be conducted remotely via video conference;
Agreed Final Orders, for example a final order in a parentage action can be entered;
QDRO (Qualified Domestic Relations Order) can be entered remotely, these are orders that divide retirement accounts;
Required Parenting Classes can be completed online;
Family Mediation Services will conduct mediation over the phone.
As tochild related matters, "the parties' regular parenting time schedule shall control in all instances." The Court says that "Parties are strongly encouraged to act in the best [interests] of their children and are strongly admonished from taking acts that would imperil the physical health of any child, including unnecessary or discretionary travel."
Lake County. As of today, we have no updates for Lake County. In the interim, for many of you we can use this time to address matters through mediation, negotiation and the collaborative process. As this situation continues to develop we will keep you apprised. Please know that we are operating remotely during normal business hours. We remain available to serve you as we have in the past. On behalf of everyone here at Ciesla Beeler, we appreciate your empathy and your concern as we all try to navigate these unprecedented times to keep us all protected. Very truly yours, Kathryn Ciesla and Jennifer Cunningham Beeler