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[00:00:00]

I'm Abby, Horniest. This is Tucker Carlson. And I'm Jessica Tarlov. This is the Fox News rundown. Wednesday, August 19, 2020 20, I'm trying for some couples, the covid-19 lockdown's were the last straw, leading to divorce.

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Is there a spike? It's been tremendous. It's worth definitely one third up from even more than that than our house. I believe everybody's trying to start a new life.

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This is the Fox News rundown. Global pandemic. Divorce isn't the only relationship issue. Lawyers are dealing with during the coronavirus outbreak, there are also other major problems with custody, courts closing and finances. Over the next few minutes, you'll get the latest headlines on the global covid-19 outbreak and hear from divorce lawyer Nancy Shamitabh starting first in Brazil that has seen more than three point four million cases of the virus. The largest outbreak is in the state of Sao Paulo, but the whole country is affected.

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A new National Geographic article details how isolated indigenous Amazonian people who rarely have contact with the outside world could be affected. Already, more than 25000 indigenous people from 146 tribal communities have gotten covid-19 not to Lebanon that were locked down for 17 days starting on Friday in the aftermath of the deadly blast earlier this month. The focus has shifted to relief, though each day the country hits new positive infection records. Aid workers will be exempt from the lockdown that will be in place from six p.m. to 6:00 a.m. each day.

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Other movement and business operations will be limited during this time. Finally, in the UK, home testing is set to be expanded. The Office for National Statistics will test 150000 people every two weeks. The goal is to identify outbreaks and stop community spread as many people are staying home awaiting a vaccine that could be ready by the end of this year. The UK has seen more than 320000 total cases of covid-19. So as couples are staying indoors not only in the UK but around the world, how has this affected their relationships and is the divorce rate rising?

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I would say it's both. This is divorce lawyer Nancy Sheptock. She joins us today from New York.

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So you're going back to March? It was incredibly quiet and scary. And the issue then was more of a custody question because people were taking their children and not returning them to the other parent because they were worried about where that child had been and whether or not that person had been exposed to covid and they were not. It was really a bad situation. Courts were closed and it was really the Wild West. There was no way to have any structure.

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And, you know, as the months have progressed, the court systems are back working, which is fabulous. If there's an issue, the judge gets on the phone and discusses it. But to answer your question as to is there a spike, it's been tremendous. It's we're definitely one third up from even more than that than our past. And we pretty much do a good job tracking the amount of cases when and I believe everybody's trying to start a new life.

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I'm sure that you have a lot of insight on this. You know, I think the initial idea people would have would be related to the lockdown's and saying, you know, if there was a couple, for example, that was having difficulties before coronavirus, some of those problems likely got even worse when they had to stay home all the time. Is that what you saw? And can you provide any insight on sort of what those situations look like and how they led people to pay you a visit?

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So just to go back to basics, historically, couples have spent two and a half hours a day together, but that just means being in their physical presence. And they speak for about 30 minutes a day. And that could be what he wants for dinner. What time are you going to be home from work? And you need to take the dog for a walk. So that's what a normal relationship has been, the best and the worst. And now if you think about it, you're lucky to spend two and a half hours away from your spouse during this time.

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So the most the most pressure that I'm seeing, the pressure points are people realising that they actually just don't get along with their spouse, that they're they have different parenting skills, they've different political views. They have different, you know, ideas about finances. And there has been a tremendous amount of financial pressure that's exacerbated all of those other issues. And then there's always, you know, people are dying. There's a pandemic. And when I get out of this, you know, I want a fresh start.

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Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

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And it's interesting to hear about all of these other issues that you deal with. I wanted to ask about sort of digging into this idea of custody. And it's something that I imagine is an ongoing issue in divorce, parenting. And what are some of the problems that come up and and what was it like when the court systems were closed? Because I imagine with children, parents are looking for answers to their legal questions right away. And when everything's shut down, it's like, what do you do?

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Right. So under the law, there's something there's a writ of habeas corpus, which means that if a child is not returned to a parent during the time that they're supposed to be with the parent, let's just say that the dad has the child from Thursday to Sunday and then all of a sudden in March. The child wasn't returned or only relief would have been to make an emergency application to the court to have the child brought back within 24 hours. So that's the way the court system works.

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In a normal situation in this situation, we weren't able to get the children back. We will call the court and court would make they would make determinations, you know, when the court started to open as well. Maybe the child's safer in Vermont or, you know, just all different determinations that really had nothing to do on the law. This was all new to everybody. And everybody was just like shooting from the hip. But once things calm down, especially in New York, you know, then it was, you know, the child needs to be returned and they need to be with the parent for this amount of time.

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But then you had frontline workers who were exposed. And so it's it was a lot of bad behavior, people just doing whatever they want to do and without following any custody guidelines. So, you know, that's a difficult situation, very, very difficult.

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And the other difficult situation is a lot of people who are separating or thinking about separating and getting divorced and, you know, they are now living together with their spouse and with their children, you know, really with nowhere else to go. And that's creating a lot of pressure on children. And I would say in the past three days, I've gotten about seven calls for a therapist for the kids. So it's really just affecting the entire family.

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You've been listening to divorce lawyer Nancy Shamitabh. We'll be right back. Living the Dream is a podcast hosted by Fox News Channel's Shannon Bream, sharing inspirational stories, personal anecdotes and an insider's perspective on actions and rulings from the High Court. Subscribe and listen now by going to Fox News podcasts, dot com America is listening to Fox News. Yeah, you don't think about all of these different aspects and layers of what a lockdown does, and you brought up the finances and I think that's a huge issue with so many Americans now unemployed.

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There's probably a lot of decisions people have to make and they might not always see eye to eye on those decisions. Is there a backlog in the court system right now in terms of divorce cases, but also just cases you're seeing across the board? Because there was a time where judges weren't working?

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Well, there's definitely a backlog in that. You know, my last day in court was March 12th, and I was about to say I was supposed to start a trial that was going on, you know, case that was going on for about a year and a half. And that has been completely suspended. Another trial I was doing probably for six months suspended. So the court system has made a choice as to whether or not they need to continue doing the trial or if they're just going to wait on it.

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And some judges have made the decision where their children involved are to keep going and other, you know, judges where it's not an urgent situation and it's more financial than they're just holding off.

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What do you see as the next step in all of this? I mean, are the court systems like many other areas of the US and of culture and systems, workplaces, schools, they're trying to adjust and figure out ways where testing can be involved and Maheswaran and social distancing, but sort of getting back to some level of normalcy. Do you envision that happening soon with courts?

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I actually thought that we were really on a good trajectory over the past three weeks. And I think that this past week, with all of these schools being canceled, colleges and elementary, you know, all the schools, public schools, private schools with them being canceled, I think it's throwing everyone into a further, you know, depression, decline sense of am I ever going to get back to work? You know, if the kids aren't in school, the parents really can't go to work.

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So I think that everybody was getting hopeful and being a divorce attorney, I need to know which schools are open, which schools are closed, which schools are having classes under the tents. But it's this is also, I believe, going to be a huge financial situation, especially college kids. So, you know, now are forced to take a gap year or it's just I think things are actually getting worse. And I hate to be doom and gloom today, but over the past, I would say a week and a half since schools have started really closing, the parents are getting more desperate and there's more tension at home.

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And the kids are getting less, you know, less responsible, you know, because they have this now sense of dread, like, what am I doing now? Certainly it makes sense.

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And it really is is permeating all parts of society. I guess my last question for you would be, what advice would you give to couples across the US right now that are unsure about the next steps they're going to take in their relationship or if they're separated and considering divorce, they're not sure what to do. What advice would you give them amid this pandemic?

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I would give the advice that don't get divorced during the pandemic if you've been locked in your house with your spouse. So you liked before and you had a good relationship with everybody who spends this much time with anyone, will people get on someone's nerves, you know, wait for you out of the pandemic way to you know, you can go have date night, you can go on a vacation. You can see if you really like this person again. You know, that would be my really sound advice for a couple that was happy prior to this, to a couple that, you know, was miserable going in.

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And it's just gotten worse then, you know, just rip off the Band-Aid and move forward.

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It's veteran advice and I imagine very valuable to the people who are making that difficult decision Nancy. Sometimes a divorce attorney in New York. Nancy, thank you again for your time. Thank you very much.

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And good luck. And thank you for having me. You've been listening to the Fox News rundown and stay up to date by subscribing to this podcast and Fox News podcasts, Dotcom and for up to the minute news, go to Fox News dot com.