The Coronavirus outbreak changed the way all residents of New York are going about their lives. This includes divorce proceedings for individuals who filed before the pandemic began. As a significant part of divorce proceedings is property division, many people are left wondering how this can take place during these uncertain times. Continue reading below and contact an experienced New York divorce attorney to learn more.
How Can Property Division be Impacted?
As a result of the Coronavirus, courts in New York are currently closed or only open for emergencies. While judges may agree to take part in certain virtual hearings, property disputes are not as high of a priority as other divorce and family law matters. When they do decide to reopen, courts can be expected to be backed up for the next few months ahead.
When a judge does divide a couple’s marital estate, how this is done can be different depending on the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. In many cases, a judge may use experts to value and divide the property. This can include real estate appraisers, actuaries, brokers, accountants, and more for assets such as property, retirement benefits, business interests, etc. It is important to keep in mind during this time that there is no way for a judge to know the turnout of the economic crisis caused by the pandemic and how it will affect and the stability of the economy. These are factors that can play a large part in marital property valuation.
How Do I Protect My Property While I Wait?
Couples who are willing to wait until the end of the pandemic to seek the division of their assets by a judge may wonder how they can protect their property interests in the meantime. This can be done by the following:
- Discovery. Identify all assets and debts so that you are aware of what you have. This can include informal exchanges of documents and information as well as formal out-of-court methods such as sworn inventories, interrogatories, requests for documents, depositions, etc.
- Monitoring and managing the assets. Know who will be managing which assets and paying for which debts. Keep communication with your spouse so that you are both informed of any changes regarding the assets. It is important to also stay knowledgeable of each party’s earnings and income.
- Temporary agreements or orders. Agreements between both parties can keep reporting and exchanging of the assets and liabilities in writing so that you can avoid misunderstandings.
Contact our Firm
Peter V. Mandi, Esq. is an experienced divorce and family law attorney located in Bohemia, New York. Our firm understands the impact a divorce can have on your life. If you require strong and dedicated legal representation in Long Island, New York, please do not hesitate to contact Peter V. Mandi & Associates, Inc. today.