If you have logged onto social media or picked up a newspaper recently, you have likely read something about the Coronavirus. You are also likely somewhere between uneasy to afraid of what will happen as the number of confirmed Coronavirus cases increases. The Centers for Disease Control have already warned Americans to prepare for an outbreak and many cities throughout the country have declared emergencies. The World Health Organization has labeled the disease as a pandemic.
Consequently, many people have been left afraid of what might happen due to the disease and the stock market has dipped to an all-time low. While it remains to be seen what lasting impact the Coronavirus will have, it is important to appreciate that the virus can impact your divorce. This article reviews just some of the surprising ways that the Coronavirus can end up shaping the terms of your divorce.
Dividing assets is a routine but challenging part of divorce. Georgia is classified as an “equitable distribution state,” which means that all marital property acquired during a marriage is subject division. Property that is not obtained during the marriage is exempt from division. After deciding whether an asset is part of a marital estate, courts then assign a value to the asset. Lastly, the assets must be divided between the married couple. The Coronavirus will almost certainly have an impact on some marital estates. This is because the Coronavirus has had a substantial impact on the global economy and resultantly the value of some assets have markedly changed. Some assets whose values are likely to be impacted by the Coronavirus include:
- Any real property located in China, Italy, or other areas that have been significantly impacted by the Coronavirus
- Business interests including those in the transportation, tourism, importing and exporting industries
- Investable assets including brokerage and retirement accounts because markets have been negatively impacted as a result of the Coronavirus
Given the potential decrease in the value of these assets, properly negotiating during divorce is more important than ever. Consequently, you should make sure to receive updated appraisal and business valuations before agreeing to anything.
Custody and Visitation
Besides the division of assets, the Coronavirus will also have a substantial impact on parents who travel with children. Even if you are not traveling to one of the areas that have been substantially impacted by the Coronavirus, it is still a good idea to provide the other parent with necessary travel documentation as soon as possible. If you plan on traveling with a child to an area that has been significantly impacted by the virus, you should also discuss this in advance with the court and maybe even obtain the permission of the court before embarking on the trip.
Speak With an Experienced Divorce Lawyer
Even when the Coronavirus is not involved, going through a divorce is often challenging. If you need assistance during this difficult time, contact an experienced family law attorney at Vayman & Teitelbaum P.C. today to schedule a free case evaluation.