Dividing Property in a Divorce During the Coronavirus Outbreak
The Coronavirus has changed the way just about everyone is going about their life in the state of New Jersey. This includes how divorce proceedings are continuing. As a large part of divorce proceedings involves property division, many spouses are wondering how this may happen during this time. Continue reading below and contact an experienced New Jersey divorce attorney to learn more.
How Can Property Division be Impacted?
As a result of the Coronavirus, many courts are currently closed or only open for emergencies. While many judges will agree to certain hearings via telecom, property conflicts are a lower priority than other divorce and family law matters. When courts do reopen, they can be expected to be overwhelmed for the next few months ahead.
When a judge does have the ability to finally divide a couple’s marital estate, how they do so can be impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic. Usually, they may use the opinions of experts in order to value and divide the property. This can include real estate, retirement benefits, business interests, etc. Experts can include real estate appraisers, actuaries, brokers, accountants, and more. During this time it is important to keep in mind that judges are unable to know the turnout of the economic crisis at hand and the stability of the economy can play a large factor in marital property valuation.
How Do I Protect My Property While I Wait?
If a couple is willing to wait until the end of the Coronavirus pandemic for a judge to divide their marital property for them, a common concern they may have is how to protect their property interests in the meantime. This can be done by the following:
- Discovery. Identify all assets and debts so that you know what you have. This can include the informal exchange of documents and information in addition to formal out-of-court methods such as sworn inventories, interrogatories, requests for documents, depositions, etc.
- Monitoring and managing the assets. Know which spouse(s) will be managing which assets and paying for which debts. Keep each other informed of any changes regarding these assets. In addition to this, stay knowledgeable of each party’s earnings and their stream of income.
- Temporary agreements or orders. Agreements between both parties exchange reporting about the assets and liabilities in writing so that you can avoid misunderstandings.
Contact our Firm
If you need an experienced legal team to guide you through your divorce, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark L.L.C today.