June 2, 2021 – Shutdowns and social distancing triggered a lot of issues in the family law area, especially for families with child custody and placement orders in place. Moving forward, what types of issues will family law attorneys be dealing with?
Donna Ginzl, a family law attorney at the Anderson O’Brien Law Firm in Stevens Point says she saw placement disputes, and parental disputes about whether children should be in school, summer camps and day care program environments amid COVID-19.
“I suspect the next big one is going to be disputes about the COVID vaccine,” said Ginzl, co-chair of the planning group for the 40th Annual Family Law Section Workshop, which will take place virtually this summer, August 5-6, 2021.
“We will have people who have joint custody who don’t agree on whether their child should be vaccinated,” Ginzl said. “We will probably start to see litigation on that.”
Like all lawyers, family lawyers had to embrace technology during COVID-19, with many hearings and meetings via Zoom and other videoconferencing tools. “Long-term, that could be an upside, to learn that some of these things we can do remotely,” Ginzl said.
Many hot topics in the family law and practice area will be discussed at the Family Law Section Workshop in August, and Ginzl is encouraging people to attend the virtual event, which usually takes place in Door County.
Ginzl said reproductive rights and surrogacy issues are hot topics without much precedent in Wisconsin, and a workshop session on day two will cover it. Those who attend can sign up for one day, or both days. Register by July 12 to receive a gift.
The workshop also features a session on race and equity in family law. “That is a very timely topic that we can all benefit from,” Ginzl said.
Another session will discuss dealing with difficult lawyers and clients. “I have talked to many attorneys during this last year who have said the level of conflict both by litigants and by some lawyers has been pretty high,” Ginzl said.
“I think people are stressed. It has been a different kind of year and so we're going to take a look at that.”