Stevens Firm - April 2020

What Matters Most

THE StevensFirm, P.A. Family Law Center

349 E. Main Street, Suite 200, Spartanburg, SC 29302 • www.SCFamilyLaw.com • (864) 598-9172 April 2020

The Stevens Firm COVID-19 Response & Updates

We hope this newsletter finds you and your family staying safe and healthy during these unprecedented times. As you are likely aware, federal, state, and local governments, along with the South Carolina judicial system, are rapidly adjusting to the ever-evolving coronavirus and COVID-19 situation, and it is incumbent on all of us to do our part. At The Stevens Firm, our top priority is the health and safety of our employees, our clients, and our local community; therefore, our law firm has been closely monitoring the situation and all the relevant guidelines and proclamations given by our local and state leaders. The chief justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court issued an historic order on Friday, April 3, 2020, which allows for the reopening of the South Carolina judicial system by way of handing many matters, including certain family court matters electronically and via web- conferencing software, where necessary. This has never been done before but will certainly ease the growing back-log of cases which have been canceled in the past few weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For our clients, if you had a hearing scheduled in April, it has been canceled and we will notify you as soon as we have any updates about rescheduling. If you have a hearing in May or June, we will keep you posted about the means by which those hearings will be held as soon as we receive communication from the appropriate clerk of court and/or the

chief justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court.

While our family courts have been closed for all but emergency hearings, our physical office has remained open daily, until now. Given the ever-expanding community of those affected by this unprecedented viral contagion, we have decided that our firm’s operations will be handled virtually through at least April 30, 2020. Our staff will continue to answer our phones and we will continue to meet with clients, though all such meetings will take place via telephone or videoconferences.

Historically, we have planned and prepared for the possibility of virtual operation due to the upstate’s inevitable snow days each year, and we are prepared to work remotely now that the need is eminently upon us. Rest assured that even during this challenging time, we remain ready to continue to meet your needs, though our meetings and communications will be restricted to email, phone calls, and video conferencing for the time being. You can always reach our office by calling (864) 598-9172, and our staff will answer our phones during normal business hours 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. If you reach our voicemail, please leave a detailed message and someone will return your call as soon as possible. We appreciate your patience as we work to respond to all inquiries and adjust to this new normal for the foreseeable future. From all of us at The Stevens Firm, we wish you and your family health, safety, and security over the upcoming weeks, and even if we may not be “seeing you” in person, we look forward to assisting you as best we can and to keeping your health and safety as our first priority.

–Jenny Stevens

Reminder About Our Firm’s Communication Policy Our promise to you is that while we are working on your case, we don’t take inbound phone calls, faxes, or emails. Our Senior Partner, Ben Stevens, takes no unscheduled inbound phone calls, as we have found this makes him much more productive and enables him to focus on getting your case resolved faster. You can always call our office at (864) 598-9172 and schedule an in-person or phone appointment with any of our attorneys, usually within 24–48 hours. We believe this approach is much better than the endless game of phone tag played by most businesses today. Email is also an efficient way to communicate with us, but please

be advised that emails are not typically checked more than twice per day. If you need something quickly, don’t email — call our office and speak with one of our assistants, who will be happy to help you. Disclaimer: This publication is intended to educate the general public about family law issues. It is not intended to be legal advice. Every case is different. The information in this newsletter may be freely copied and distributed so long as the newsletter is copied in its entirety and proper credit is attributed to “The Stevens Firm, P.A. — Family Law Center (SCFamilyLaw.com).”

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