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How To Get Divorced During a Pandemic

by | May 5, 2020 | divorce, divorce lawyer long island ny, News and Events

The news of the novel coronavirus hit the U.S. fast and hard at the beginning of 2020. You may have been in the middle of negotiating your divorce or just about to put the pen to paper to sign your divorce settlement when everything was upended.

Can you still get a divorce in New York during the pandemic? What should you expect? Here’s what you need to know.

 

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How COVID-19 Is Impacting Divorces on Long Island

The impact of the coronavirus seemingly knows no end — every industry, company, and family has been affected by COVID-19, and it’s not yet known what will happen next or how long the effects of the coronavirus on the economy will last. This means that along with everything else, the way divorces are done has also changed.

Property Division

Deciding what to do with the marital home is an important part of your divorce, but with the housing market practically in a freeze during the coronavirus, selling your home and splitting the proceeds may not be the best option at this time. If possible, consider what may be able to be offered in exchange for the house under equitable distribution laws. Or, discuss how one spouse may be able to buy the other’s share in the home by making payments over time.

Child Custody

Unless one parent is ill or is at a high risk of contracting the coronavirus, or the child is in an at-risk category, it’s unlikely that the pandemic will be a factor in how a child custody determination is made. This will still largely be based on who is able to provide the most loving, stable home environment for the child both now and in the future. Visitation should still be determined and executed without interference as well, with the exception of extenuating circumstances.

Child Support and Alimony

How much money you earn is one of the primary deciding factors of how much alimony or child support you have to pay. Many people are losing their jobs or their hours are being reduced significantly due to social distancing policies. Keep records of your finances and inform your lawyer of any change in your ability to pay your child or spousal support. Do not stop making payments or pay less until you’ve successfully modified your court order.

What You Can Do

There are several things you can do to help your divorce go more smoothly during the coronavirus pandemic, including:

Agree to Virtual Mediation

Most courthouses on Long Island are closed except for emergencies and certain e-filing situations. If you have a divorce hearing scheduled, this will likely be delayed until courts reopen, which will significantly delay your divorce. You can speed up the divorce process by agreeing to virtual mediation. You and your ex can sit down online with a mediator who will work with you both to help you reach an agreement on various aspects of your divorce.

Compromise to Help Reduce Legal Fees

If you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse are able to reach a compromise on one or more issues relating to your divorce, this can help you save on legal fees. The more you agree on before you approach your attorneys, the easier, faster, and cheaper the formal divorce process will be.

Consider Refinancing Your Home at a Lower Interest Rate

If you’re not able to sell your home, consider refinancing at a lower interest rate. Some financers won’t refinance during a divorce, so be sure to check with your lender to determine if this is a possibility.

Getting a Divorce During COVID-19? Make Sure You Have Legal Help First

Dissolving your marriage can be hectic on its own, without doing it during a pandemic. If you need to get a divorce in the midst of COVID-19, it’s critical to reach out for legal advocacy as soon as you can. At Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C., we are providing free phone consultations during the coronavirus pandemic. We can help you move forward with the next chapter of your life, even with the new challenges that the pandemic brings. Contact us today for a consultation at 631-923-1910.

 

 

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Ann Masten
Ann Masten
17:48 12 May 20
I am a paralegal in an unrelated field of law. I phoned Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. today intending to refer a client to their office. Instead (and despite that we are the midst of the present crisis), Mr. Hornberger himself graciously accommodated my questions over the telephone, and was generous with his time and adroit in his response, saving our client a small fortune in unnecessary legal fees. I have not had any similar experience, in which counsel was so generous with his expertise, in 22+ years of interacting with prominent, local attorneys, and the client is overjoyed. Based on this experience, I would now whole -heartedly recommend this firm as trusted professionals to any client requiring a firm expert in family law and related legal issues.
Everett Roberts
Everett Roberts
14:30 18 Mar 20
Going through a divorce was very challenging and emotional. Searching for an attorney can be challenging as well when you consider everything that is at stake. The choice I made to work with Rob Hornberger was surely the best choice available. His professionalism, expertise, and understanding made him and the entire team perfectly suited to achieve the outcomes I desired. Rob was always available to answer my questions and give me advice and legal considerations that affected my situation. The support I received from his staff was exemplary as well. The staff was courteous, kind, and also very professional. Thank you so much Rob and team for a worry free experience.
Annemarie Cusumano
Annemarie Cusumano
21:41 17 Mar 20
Being in family court especially when your children are on the line is extremely emotional and stressful but working with Robert and Christine put me at ease and made the process as pleasant as a situation like that can be. I have a now 3 year old daughter (who is the most important person in my life) and I've been working with them for over two years since my daughter was 7 months old, the case has been up and down and through it all Rob and Christine have never given up. My original case was due to a neglect charge. Cps is not easy to work with, but Rob and Christine were vigilant and I ended up getting my daughter back within 8 months and did not have to plead guilty to the neglect. Currently I am in family court to figure out a custody agreement. They are professional, empathetic, and patient. They have always explained everything thoroughly, informed me of all my options and advised me of what my best option would be. They always respond quickly when I contact them with questions or concerns and most importantly they fight for me in court and don't give up even when things get rough. Before hiring Rob and Christine I met with other attorneys who did not make me feel confident or comfortable at all about my case, so I am very grateful to have found Rob and Christine and to be represented by such great attorneys. I highly recommend them for any family court matters and will definitely continue to use them in the future if needed.
Steven Frierman
Steven Frierman
02:25 07 Mar 20
After meeting with 3 different lawyers, we felt Robert understood us best and he genuinely had our best interests at heart. This helped us resolve a few minor issues in a timely fashion and make a potentially stressful situation go more smoothly.Thank you
Randi Gottlieb
Randi Gottlieb
18:47 03 Mar 20
Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. - Mr. Robert Hornberger and his staff are beyond professional, they quickly gave me my consultation appointment, and helped me with an after-Divorce issue. Mr. Hornberger was empathetic and explained to me what I should expect. Mr. Hornberger was extremely professional and advised me of my options, he helped me proceed with accurate and smart decisions. I wish I had Mr. Hornberger and his highly recommended staff when I was getting divorced. I would highly recommend Robert and his staff to anyone who is getting a divorce or in need of help with situations after the divorce!

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  • I have known Robert for more than 8 eight years. Robert has represented many of my family and friends. Each and every one has raved about Robert’s professionalism and expertise. He is knowledgable, friendly and truly cares about his clients. I would not hesitate to continue to refer Robert and his firm in the future!
  • I’ve known Robert for most of my life, and feel very fortunate that I have been able to turn to a good friend for various kinds of legal advice. He is very intelligent, straight forward, and professional. Most importantly though, Robert always finds the fastest resolution, and will not waste your time or money. He is NOT in the habit of dragging things through litigation if there is no need for the added expense. I have referred a few of my friends to Robert, and they have all been more than satisfied in their experience with him. Highly recommend!!

 

 

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