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A wooden gavel resting on a white surface, angled to show its head and handle, typically used by judges or at auctions to address acts such as domestic violence.

Property Division in the Wake of COVID-19

If you are someone who was in the midst of, or was about to enter the divorce process, there is a very good chance it was interrupted, at least to a certain degree, by the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the most important facets of the divorce process is property division. Please continue reading and reach out to our experienced New Jersey divorce attorney to learn more about property division and how it may be affected by the new coronavirus. Here are some of the questions you may have:

Can COVID-19 affect property distribution?

Courts across New Jersey have closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and many only remain open for priority legal matters. While property division in your divorce is obviously high-priority for you, many judges do not view these matters as urgent as others, such as domestic violence cases, child custody cases, and more. There is a very good chance you may not be able to find a judge available to handle your legal matter for some time after courts reopen, as a backlogged court system is expected.

By the time a judge is ready to take your case, the outcome may be different than what it would have been months ago. The pandemic has affected us all, and as a result, many of us lost businesses and other assets, which can drastically affect equitable distribution in a divorce. Your divorce may now require additional experts to truly value your assets, such as accountants, real estate appraisers, and more.

How can I protect my property?

If you and your spouse can wait until the pandemic is over, ensure you do the following to protect your assets:

  • Temporary agreements or orders. Many couples find it useful to establish agreements between them to record all assets and liabilities in writing so they can avoid misunderstandings and/or falsehoods.
  • Discovery. Identify all of your assets and debts, such as sworn inventories, interrogatories, requests for documents, depositions, and more. Before proceeding with property distribution, it is always best you have a firm grasp of what you and your spouse have.
  • Monitor and manage your assets. Determine, with your spouse, who will handle certain assets and pay certain debts until the pandemic subsides. If your income or any other aspect of your financial situation changes, ensure you disclose that information to your spouse.

Contact our experienced Ocean City firm

Matters of divorce and family law require the attention and skill of an experienced attorney who will fight for your future. Not only is your financial well-being at stake, but in a divorce, both you and your children’s emotional well-being are at risk as well. If you need a divorce and family law attorney in Ocean County, New Jersey, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Sarina Gianna, LLC today to schedule a consultation.