DeWitt Law Firm - April 2020

The

Digest

DeWittLaw.com

APRIL 2020

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COVID-19 CO-PARENTING PROCEDURES

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have received a lot of inquiries about what people should do to keep themselves and their children safe during these uncertain times. However, if you have a parenting plan where you share custody with another parent, this can often become more complicated. There is no rule book for something like this, as this matter is unprecedented. However, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) created guidelines for parents who are divorced or separated and share custody during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can read the AAML guidelines on our website at DeWittLaw.com In short, the AAML encourages parents to act in the best interest of their children and their health when making decisions regarding the parenting plan. Parenting plans don’t anticipate a pandemic. This means that parents must work together to make decisions as to how to protect the health and well-being of their children. The AAML encourages parents to follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and state and local governments and teach their children hand washing and social distancing. Further, the AAML recommends trying to maintain a calm demeanor during this time period. News media and other sources may be alarming to young children, especially without further explanation. It is important to reassure children that everything will be okay moving forward and avoid making alarmist comments around the children. When it comes to the parenting plan, it is important to try and comply with the plan as much as possible. Even though schools are currently closed, the parties should attempt to maintain the normalcy of the parenting plan to the extent possible. If there is a reason you believe you should deviate from the parenting plan, it is important to consult with the other parent to see if they are in agreement with the deviation. If not, you may need to consult your attorney for further advice. If one parent is unable to see the child or children for an extended period of time, you should encourage as much virtual contact as possible through telephone, Skype, FaceTime, or other video chat services.

Finally, it is important to communicate regarding the health and well-being of your children with the other parent. If you believe you may have been exposed to the virus, consult with the other parent immediately to take the necessary precautions to prevent any further exposure. Of course, if the child is exhibiting any symptoms, communicate that to the other parent as soon as possible. Given the gravity of this pandemic, the health and well-being of everyone should be top of mind. When making any decisions regarding timesharing and custody of minor children, make sure that you are doing what is in the best interest if the child to protect their health. Our office is working remotely during this time, but we are fully functional and able to answer questions as they arise. Should you or a loved one need any assistance, please do not hesitate to call us.

– Moses DeWitt

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While no one could imagine that the world would be placed on pause while we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, we are happy to say that we are still fully functional at the DeWitt Law Firm. At this time, we have restricted all in-person contact, as our employees are working remotely. Fortunately, given the technology we already had in place, switching to a remote work environment was seamless. As we navigate our new normal, we asked our staff what the pros and cons are of working remotely from home. Joy Kincheloe (Intake Specialist) I enjoy saving money on gas and not having the stress of the commute. The time saved getting ready and the money saved on eating out for lunch is also a plus. However, I do miss the interaction with my coworkers and clients. Josh Fowler (Office Liaison) I enjoy the easier commute, and I can have as many free café lattes as I would like to drink, but the lack of lunch options is certainly disappointing. I can only eat a ham sandwich so many days in a row. Mat Sheehan (Paralegal) Many find the prospect of working from home to be a glorious one. For some, it is indeed just that. However, there are perks and drawbacks to working from home. Some of the pros are no commute in traffic, allowing everyone to be on time to work; the comfort of your home while working through a stressful situation; the ability to support your clients and still protect yourself and your family by limiting access to the public at large during pandemics such as the COVID-19 situation; enhanced focus on activity to ensure all necessary tasks are handled accordingly; and less social interference with work, as you are working in solitude. Of course, you cannot have pros without cons! The cons of working from home are fewer in my humble opinion but still present and valid. To me, the cons for working at home are not having the full resources of the main office (large copier/ scanner); a somewhat decreased work/life balance, as there’s access to the work environment during “off” hours; social isolation (which for some is a pro, but for others, it can be detrimental); working around the “nonwork” noises (such as dogs barking, lawn maintenance, neighborhood activities, etc.); and finally, considering a part of your home to be your “work.” Pros and Cons of Working From Home

WHAT MAKES A PET A HERO? MY COOL DOG

As a guest writer for this newsletter, I’ve had the chance to cover some truly heroic pets. From Conan, the Belgian Malinois who helped in the fight against the Islamic State group, to Tama, the stray cat who saved a railway station in Japan, I’ve shared some incredible stories of animals that gained fame through their selflessness. But have you heard of my cool dog? My dog’s name is Rusty, and he has not saved a single train station. He really isn’t one for cats either, but I’d like to think he’d make an exception for Tama. That being said, my dog does have some qualities that make him newsletter worthy. Despite his name, Rusty’s the fastest Frisbee catcher at the local dog park. Of course, he doesn't usually want to give the disc back once he’s caught it — he takes pride in his work! But my dog, like any hero, has more talents than just physical prowess. He selflessly provides me with important reminders! Just as Lilou the therapy pig reminds travelers in the San Francisco International Airport to relax, Rusty reminds me to never leave the TV remote in an easy-to-reach location. I swear he chews them up like candy. And the brains on this dog are really something else. Sure, African giant pouched rats have been trained to sniff out land mines — saving dozens of lives — but ol’ Rust took just two weeks to become housebroken. I’m pretty sure that makes him some sort of genius. Plus he doesn’t drool nearly as much as my ex’s Newfoundland. Okay, so maybe none of that is on par with saving lives, fighting terrorism, or even just keeping a rural train station in business. Maybe Rusty is just a goofy mix with a big, lovable grin. But he’s my goofy mix, and one who loves getting me to grin along with him. That seems pretty heroic to me. Any pet can be a hero in the eyes of its owner. If you have a pet half as cool as Rusty, send our team an email and tell us about them!

In the end, I am just thankful we are able to continue to assist our clients in the safety and comfort of our homes.

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IT’S TIME TO CHECK YOUR MOTORCYCLE INSURANCE

that the term “Daytona Beach Bike Week” is generic and cannot be trademarked.

While Daytona Beach Bike Week may have been canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it wasn’t the first time someone tried to cancel the historic motorcycle rally. In 2010, a New York-based holding company began circulating a letter to various Daytona Beach-area businesses threatening to “take all legal actions to protect its rights” against any business that produced or sold T-shirts or other merchandise bearing the Daytona Beach Bike Week name without agreeing to pay a royalty fee. Ultimately, a lawsuit commenced, and a federal judge held that the New York-based holding company did not have the right to trademark the name. The Judge held that “[b]ecause the phrase ‘Daytona Beach Bike Week’ has been used by so many different entities over the past few decades, consumers do not associate the term or phrase with any one source, and no one entity has any control over the use of the phrase.” In other words, Daytona Beach Bike Week was saved because the court held

This year, Bike Week may have come to an end early, but that will not deter motorcycle enthusiasts from hitting the open road and enjoying the great Florida weather. However, before you hop on your bike, be sure you have the proper motorcycle insurance to protect yourself and your family. Florida is a no-fault state and requires personal injury protection coverage for vehicles of four wheels or more. No-fault coverage ensures that all medical bills will be paid up to $10,000, regardless of who was at fault in an accident. However, no-fault coverage does not apply to motorcycles. This means if you are injured on your motorcycle due to the fault of another, you will need to pursue the at-fault driver to cover your medical bills and expenses. However, in Florida, drivers are not required to carry bodily injury coverage. This means

if a driver hits you and hurts you, they may not have any coverage to compensate you. This is why it is extraordinarily important for motorcycle riders to carry uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage. UM/UIM coverage steps into the shoes of the at-fault driver if there is no insurance or not enough insurance to properly compensate you for damages. If you have any questions about your insurance coverage for your motorcycle, car, or home, feel free to give us a call for a free insurance coverage review. We are always happy to spend a few minutes of our time to ensure you have the proper insurance coverage to protect you and your family.

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EASY DEVILED EGGS

Jennifer Romej (Legal Assistant) Not having to travel to downtown Orlando from Lake County every day is quite nice. The extra work hours allow me to get an early start on work in the morning so I can spend time with my son in the afternoon. Josh Martell (Attorney) My wife enjoys me being home more because I am able to do my household chores during my lunch break. Unfortunately, my weekly allowance has not increased, as she still only gives me $20 per week. I do miss being able to meet with clients in person. I always enjoyed building a rapport with my clients. Philip Wayne (Attorney) I feel that the shirt and tie with pajama pants will be the fashion trend of the future. Unfortunately, no one gets to see that I am a fashion trendsetter, as the video chat doesn’t show my pants.

While the kids hunt for Easter eggs in the yard, whip up this easy deviled egg recipe for a hearty snack that’s sure to satisfy any craving.

INGREDIENTS

• • • • •

1/2 cup mayonnaise

• •

1/2 tsp ground mustard Salt, paprika, garlic powder, and pepper, to taste 12 large eggs, hard-boiled Fresh parsley, minced, and paprika for garnish

2 tbsp milk

1 tsp dried parsley flakes

1/2 tsp dill weed

• •

1/2 tsp fresh chives, minced

DIRECTIONS

1. In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, milk, parsley flakes, dill, chives, mustard, salt, paprika, garlic powder, and pepper. Mix well and set aside. 2. Cut eggs lengthwise and remove yolks carefully to preserve egg whites. 3. In a small bowl, mash yolks. 4. Mix mashed yolks with mayonnaise mixture. 5. Spoon or pipe the mixture back into the egg whites. 6. Garnish with fresh parsley and paprika. Refrigerate before serving.

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THIS ISSUE

PHONE AVAILABLE 24/7 (OFFICE HOURS: MONDAY–FRIDAY, 9 A.M.–5 P.M.)

COVID-19 Co-Parenting Procedures

1

The Newest Pet Hero

2 2

Pros and Cons of Working From Home

It’s Time to Check Your Motorcycle Insurance

3

Easy Deviled Eggs

3

Classic Comedies for Tweens and Teens

4

CLASSIC COMEDIES FOR TWEENS AND TEENS LAUGH IT UP WITH YOUR LOVED ONES

‘THE PRINCESS BRIDE’

Black’s hilarious antics, and an amped-up soundtrack, the movie lands its message of self-acceptance so well that you’ll be clamoring for an encore.

Endlessly quotable and full of heart, this 1987 irreverent fantasy story is perfect for kids looking to graduate from fairy tales. While the dialogue contains a handful of swears and enough mild innuendo to earn a PG rating, most of the violence is played up for comedy rather than appearing gritty and real. Be prepared for your kids to repeat Inigo Montoya’s lines again and again.

‘MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL’

There’s nothing quite like the comedy of Monty Python. Surreal, witty, and unabashedly ridiculous, “Holy Grail” defies nearly every convention of storytelling and revels in doing so. That said, this film is recommended for teens since it has some strong elements of innuendo in one particular scene. Another scene contains over-the-top violence that is intentionally made to look fake, but it may still scare younger viewers. If you’re looking to show your teens a whole new world of comedy, then this 1975 classic will make their imaginations run wild.

For parents, movie selection can sometimes seem pretty limited. When your kids are young, you may feel shackled to the latest Disney animated features. But as they get a little older, you might want to introduce them to some real classic comedies. After all, who doesn’t like to have a laugh with their loved ones? Here’s a look at just a few side-splitting films that still hold up.

‘SCHOOL OF ROCK’

According to Common Sense Media, many parents choose to ignore the PG-13 rating on this 2003 comedy and show it to their tweens. Besides brief strong language and a few scenes with adults consuming alcohol, this Jack Black movie is surprisingly tame for being about rock ‘n’ roll. Beyond the endearing characters,

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