Divorce rates are increasing worldwide and are not expected to be dropping soon. The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed many of us to our limits. Stress out and lock down has put pressure on relationships. If you are considering divorce or are in the process, things are different getting a divorce during covid.
Co-Parenting During Crisis
Reasonable parents can have different ideas about keeping children safe during the pandemic. This has led to bitter fights between parents both in and out of court. CDC guidelines and government orders show what types of precautions families should take. These guidelines don’t fit every situation. Sometimes they are unclear when dealing with loved ones with serious medical conditions. Every family situation is unique. You should tailor problem-solving to your individual circumstances. The advice of a co-parenting coach can be very helpful when parents can’t agree.
In a divorce, you will need to enter a Parenting Plan with the court. The plan will include a detailed residential schedule for your children. During the pandemic, most children are attending school on-line from home. Parents have had to change their work schedules to stay home with their kids. The schedule you have in place now might look very different next year. Make sure to account for these upcoming changes.
Spousal Support Instability
Spousal support is often based on the need of the person requesting support. Many of us have lower expenses because we are staying home more, eating out less, and foregoing travel. In turn, many paying spouses have had a drop in income. That reduction impacts their ability to pay support for the foreseeable future. Consider whether you or your spouse’s drop will be short-term or long-term. Also consider your future expenses when determining support while having a divorce during covid.
Child Support Considerations
The court considers all income of each parent when determining child support. Loss of income or employment may make child support calculations tricky. Your attorney should gather information about any COVID-related income received. Look for CARES Act retirement distributions, unemployment benefits, and stimulus payments and rebates.
Valuing Assets in Times of Uncertainty
It’s no surprise that businesses of all kinds have suffered over the last year. Hit hard are those in the restaurants, bar, gym, and travel-related businesses. Some businesses have stayed open with the aid of federal funds. But will your loan be forgivable and how are these funds reflected in a business valuation? With more receiving vaccines, it’s predicted that the economy will rebound. What that means for any particular business is unclear. It could take more than a year to see the true impacts of the pandemic on our businesses. Hire a skilled valuation professional who will understand these evolving issues. It’s also important to communicate with your lender about possible loan forgiveness. Document everything and apply for loan forgiveness!
One spouse may want to keep the family home or any other real estate. Value will need to be determined for the property. A licensed real estate appraiser will provide the market value for the house. This is done by looking at comparable sales. Although the economy has taken a big hit over the last year due to the pandemic, the residential real estate market is booming in Texas. Yet, it’s important to keep an eye on the market and choose the right time to appraise your property.
Court Access & Creative Alternatives
Did you know that the majority of divorces settle out of court? Texas courts mandate mediation. The process let’s the parties have a hand in deciding their case. The judge will only hear a few hours of testimony if they have to decide. Mediation may be better for you.
What happens if you can’t reach agreement and need court intervention? The courts are now open but with scaled back operations. A hearing or trial may takes longer than usual to schedule . Many hearings take place online, but it is not preferred by many attorneys. It’s important that your attorney is comfortable working with the new technology.
The process of divorce during covid may look different but with a focus on creative alternatives you can reach a peaceful resolution in your case.