The devastating effects of the COVID-19 virus are impacting every aspect of our daily lives. It can also affect you when it comes to divorcing your spouse. Courthouses are closed except for emergencies, and this is creating delays in proceedings as well as applications for child support and custody. The backlog can be tremendous considering the fact there’s a divorce every 36 seconds. Here are four ways the pandemic is impacting divorce and what you can do to protect and prepare yourself.
The pandemic is forcing courts to take new approaches with divorce filings in order to protect the health and safety for everyone involved. Courts are using technology that allows divorce documents to be e-filed. Individuals and their divorce attorneys can attend court with the judge through video conferencing. Some courts even have video divorce mediation services to handle temporary child support and parent issues as well as the finalization of divorcing your spouse. If you’re planning a divorce during the pandemic, talk with your divorce lawyer about how the social distancing rules may impact your case and fees and what delays it may bring.
Division of Assets
A significant part of the divorce process hinges on the division of marital assets, which include things like investment and retirement accounts. Any debts need to get negotiated regarding who will be responsible to pay them. The impact of the virus is negatively impacting the market, which can make negotiating financial settlements incredibly tough. Enlist financial experts to help you navigate how to protect and manage these assets and how to move forward with them in light of the divorce.
Selling your marital home can also be a complex challenge during this difficult time. The housing market is currently in a freeze and there’s no way of predicting what the impact on home prices will be past the pandemic. Work with your spouse to come up with solutions and seek expert advice from local realtors as well as divorce counsel.
Spousal And Child Support Payments
The pandemic is shutting the doors to many businesses, leading to layoffs and unemployment. This loss of income can complicate child support payments and alimony. If the pandemic has affected your or your spouse’s income, seek divorce help on whether or not you need to file with the court. Modifications can’t be changed once the due date for the payment of spousal and child support installments arrives.
As a result of the pandemic, children are home from school and this can create issues with parenting times and transitions. Normal schedules and routines have been disrupted and it can become difficult to determine what parenting time should be in this new reality. Many courts are ordering that the agreed parenting time before the pandemic should continue. Parents may alter the schedule upon agreement with each other but should do it in a way that protects the physical safety of the children. This includes things like avoiding any unnecessary travel and working together in their best interest.
Divorcing your spouse can be highly complex during the pandemic. It’s important to prepare as best you can to reduce as much stress as possible. If you need divorce assistance, contact C.E.L. & Associates today to schedule a meeting.