Property Division Issues That May Need to Be Revisited in Divorce Due to COVID-19
There is no question that the hardest hit family law issue thus far when it comes to the pandemic has been the issue of custody agreements (i.e. timesharing in Florida). When schools first started to send kids home, not only were divorced parents unprepared to figure out how to split the kids’ time between the two households, but as the pandemic progressed and became more and more dangerous, parents became increasingly concerned about their child’s safety while they were in the other parent’s custody, especially if they worked on the frontlines battling the virus as a doctor or first responder.
However, there were a number of couples who were in the middle of obtaining a divorce – as in, they had already signed marital agreements spelling out how their marital assets would be divided – when the pandemic suddenly hit and everything had to be placed on hold. Now, because of the economic impact that the pandemic has had on not only the country, but the entire globe, those negotiations will likely need to be revisited, as the value of retirement funds, stocks, and closely-held businesses have all changed. In fact, a number of changed circumstances may completely upend existing agreements when it comes to divorce, such as child support if one or both parents lost their jobs due to COVID-19.
Determining Timing Will Be Key
As a result, once that “normal” life does eventually resume, those seeking to finalize their divorces will need to work with their attorneys and any specialists such as accountants and appraisers to determine what timing makes the most sense in terms of property division and how their property values and investment portfolios have been impacted. At this time, there is no expert that can specifically predict the exact impact that COVID-19 will have on the value of these important assets, as well as what the stock market will look like once the pandemic passes. Depending upon the assets that you and your ex share, it may be entirely possible that waiting for economic recovery before you tackle property division issues is a financially wise decision, especially if appraisal businesses are unavailable before then.
Until then, there are some steps you can take to protect your interests, such as making sure that if there are any agreements reached between you and your ex, they are properly documented and that no decisions are made regarding taking on additional debt or liquidating assets without the consultation of both spouses. If this is difficult to address directly with your spouse, you have the option of involving your attorney to see if you can obtain an emergency court order to ensure that assets are not liquidated at this time.
Contact Our Florida Property Division Divorce Attorneys
If you are going through divorce, it is crucial that you work with an attorney that has the experience and skill to provide you with what you need when it comes to property division issues here in Florida. At the Arwani Law Firm, our Orlando property division lawyers can best protect your interests as we guide you through your divorce as hassle-free as possible. Contact us today for a free phone consultation – we are working through this time to (safely) provide our clients with the assistance that they need.