Coronavirus and Attorneys: An Adventure at Department of Child Support Services Family Court.

If the location name didn’t turn your stomach, consider yourself fortunate of the worst that divorce with children has to offer you.

Today I sat against the relatively clean hallway bench as my attorney reviewed notes I had sent her days ago. She asked questions and I brought about new details that were valid, cross-checked, sources cited and supported by evidence that I could quickly hand to a bailiff with copies for opposing prepared by my printer, not my counsel’s.

As DCSS interviews commenced, random professionals wandered by and chatted with my attorney. “Hey, how’s it going? Did you hear?”

I immediately noticed that none of the attorneys, DCSS or private, would shake hands with each other. They held on to their crammed folders, tugging along their wheeled brief cases like armored shields. And it was clearly new to many of them from my observation based solely on how many interactions began with, “Sorry, I’m not touching you, but I’m not sorry. Nothing personal, just Coronavirus.”

It was appropriate for these cold, brightly light hallways, encased by glass and the thinly masked rage of all parties. The attorneys danced from interviews to STIP discussions, introducing themselves, stepping aside to negotiate while payee and recipient stood awkwardly at opposite ends of the corridor, pretending their ex wasn’t even in the building, counting the dollars by the ten minute increments, their livelihoods on the line.

And no one would so much as shake anyone’s hand, as if somehow that was the greatest threat in this building.