As a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, many aspects of life have changed. This includes how couples are navigating their divorce proceedings during this time. Due to the fact that the division of assets is a large part of these proceedings, many spouses are wondering how they can do so amid the outbreak. Continue reading below and contact an experienced New Jersey divorce attorney to learn more.
How Can Property Division be Impacted?
The Coronavirus outbreak caused most New Jersey courts to close in an effort to slow the spread of the virus. During this time, they are only taking emergency cases. While some judges may take part in virtual hearings, matters of property division are not as important as other divorce and family law matters, therefore it does not take priority. As a result, these cases can be expected to be backed up in courts as they begin to open over the next few months ahead.
It is important to understand that there is no way for a judge to know how the economic crisis caused by the pandemic will affect the stability of the economy. It is because of this that it cannot be determined exactly how the division of assets in a divorce can be affected. However, this process often entails valuations by real estate appraisers, actuaries, brokers, and accountants, for assets such as property, retirement benefits, business interests, etc. The stability of the economy can play a large factor in how these assets are valued during the proceedings.
How Do I Protect My Property While I Wait?
Couples who can wait until the end of the pandemic to divide 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 you are aware of what you possess. This can include informal exchanges of information as well as formal out-of-court methods such as sworn inventories, interrogatories, requests for documents, depositions, etc.
- Monitoring and managing the assets. Designate who will manage which assets and pay for which debts. It is also important to be aware of each party’s earnings and income. Continue communication with your spouse so that you can stay informed of any changes.
- 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 down the road.
Contact our Firm
If you require strong legal representation for matters related to divorce or family law, Haber Silver Russoniello & Dunn is here to help. We proudly represent clients in Morris County and throughout the state of New Jersey. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.