Divorce Economics During COVID-19

Divided assets

The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has caused immeasurable damage to the personal and professional finances of millions of people across the country. The lockdowns ordered by every state governor have put employees out of work and left many businesses without a source of revenue, affecting everything from the price of consumer goods and gasoline to the real estate market. If you are going through a divorce, you likely already have enough on your plate to worry about, especially concerning your finances. There are a few things about the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting effects that are important to consider, however, insofar as they affect the economics of pending divorces. Continue reading for a discussion of some of the financial issues relating to divorce that have been impacted by the coronavirus, and reach out to an experienced and steadfast Englewood divorce lawyer with any questions, or for help with a New Jersey family law matter.

The Family Home

Dealing with the family home is often one of the more contentious parts of a divorce. Parties need to decide whether it is best to sell the house and split the proceeds, have one spouse buy out the other spouse’s share of the house to keep or let one spouse keep the house in exchange for some other consideration. The coronavirus pandemic has caused a massive shake-up in the real estate market. Any property evaluations that were conducted before February 2020 as part of the divorce proceedings may need to be re-done. If one spouse planned to take over the mortgage and the property taxes, they should make sure to re-evaluate whether they can still shoulder that financial burden alone in light of any change to their finances. If your plans are to sell the house, you might need to consider whether it is even possible to sell a home in the near future while people are locked in their homes pursuant to government orders. Speak with an experienced realtor and your divorce lawyer to discuss your best options concerning the family house in light of the new real estate climate.

Evaluating Finances for the Purposes of the Divorce

Alimony, child support, and the equitable division of property all turn in part on the financial situation of each of the divorcing parties individually and the value of their collective property. If you have lost your job or your business is struggling because of coronavirus-related issues, it is important to perform a thorough evaluation of how these changes have impacted your overall finances. You do not want to be left with an order of child support or alimony that assumes you have an income that is no longer present, thanks to being furloughed or laid off or as a result of business interruption or closure. Further, if your divorce settlement, yet to be filed, relies on the assumption that you will be able to re-enter the workforce after the divorce, it is essential to re-evaluate that assumption in light of the current financial climate.

Likewise, if you and your spouse share a business, or if other shared income or property has been affected by the coronavirus, the value of the property that you have already begun to apportion should be adjusted to ensure that both sides continue to get their fair share. Work with your attorney and appropriate experts to get updated evaluations of your finances to make sure your divorce papers accurately reflect your current circumstances.

Bills, Insurance, and Personal Finances

Your personal financial situation is important not only insofar as it affects the results of your divorce; it also affects your daily life. If you have lost your insurance or you no longer have access to short-term cash flow, you might need to request from your spouse or petition the court for an alteration to temporary financial obligations. If you are struggling and your spouse still has income, for example, you might be able to request temporary alimony while the divorce is still pending. You may ask to be kept on their health or life insurance in light of your financial issues. If, on the other hand, you currently owe alimony or child support, you might need to ask for a modification in light of your new financial situation.

Get Advice and Representation With Divorce-Related Issues from Knowledgeable New Jersey Family Law Attorneys

If you’re considering divorce in New Jersey or facing property division, child support, alimony, child custody, or other family law issues, contact the Englewood family law attorneys at Herbert & Weiss at (201) 500-2151.