Coronavirus Effects On Divorce
The novel coronavirus has had a massive impact across all areas of life in the U.S., and family legal issues are no exception. With Florida family courts mostly closed except for exceptional circumstances or hearings occurring remotely, what can you expect when navigating a divorce, and how can you be proactive about protecting your family’s best interests?
If you’re divorcing during the coronavirus pandemic, it could affect your:
With many areas under shelter-in-place orders, how can you effectively share parenting time? Many co-parents are facing this very challenge. You may need to renegotiate a temporary time-sharing plan that better adheres to social distancing policies, such as having virtual visitation over apps like Zoom and FaceTime, and additional health precautions at each home. New work from and homeschooling requirements may dramatically change the dynamic and environment at shared parenting homes requiring flexibility for schedule changes, positive communication, and compromise.
Estimating your finances right now is likely to be challenging at best. Many Americans may now have a fluctuating or uncertain income, between job loss or lay-off, reduced hours or closures, work from home without child care, and payments from the CARES Act. Negotiating financial matters related to your divorce during COVID-19 can be tricky because your income now — and your ex’s — is not an accurate reflection of what your income has been or will be. Temporary income should ideally not be used to determine income for child support or alimony purposes while navigating a divorce.
Businesses everywhere are struggling with the impact of the coronavirus. If you’re a business owner and need to assess the value of your business for the purposes of a divorce, doing so during a pandemic is extremely difficult. You’ll likely need expert help whether your company is undergoing significant losses due to COVID-19 closures or struggling to keep up with demand if you own an essential business. It is important to note that the current value of a business during this crisis may be temporary and an averaging tool over recent years may be necessary.
Often, the solution to equitable property division is to either value the asset and decide who gets it, or sell the asset and split the profits. However, selling a home, for example, during the current housing market could turn out to be a nightmare. The market is down and there may be uncontrollable delays to distribute assets or receive sale proceeds during this difficult time.
How to Proactively Address Divorce Challenges During COVID-19
Coronavirus restrictions are expected to continue for the foreseeable future, meaning many families will need to find creative ways to work around closed court systems to pursue their divorce or get help with other family legal matters. Don’t leave your divorce up in the air during COVID-19 — contact Naples family and divorce lawyer Kevyn Noonan Hayes, P.A. for more information by calling 239-591-6248.