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For Better or For Worse: The Impact of New York’s Stay-At-Home Order on Divorce

On Behalf of | Jun 4, 2020 | Firm News |

Today’s uncertain times, New York’s stay-at-home policy, business closures, unemployment and health concerns are all having major impacts on a variety of divorce and family law issues.

We’ve witnessed how the stay-at-home mandates issued by the Governor to flatten the curve have had the side effect of an increased likelihood of domestic violence. Family finances have been negatively impacted by the effect of the pandemic on the economy, and people are concerned about their future employment and financial prospects. Issues of spousal maintenance, child support and the equitable distribution of marital property are all being affected by this economic fallout. Compounding all of this, access to the courts has been greatly limited, although the courts are working to expand services, with access having been greatly opened lately.

Founding Partner Mitchell Cohen recently participated in a webinar with the American Academy for Certified Financial Litigators on the impact of today’s uncertain economy on business valuations. 

Whether it is a loss of employment, decreased income due to layoff or partial layoff, business downturns or even dissolution, the current situation is creating significant issues for people in the middle of a divorce case, for people having to deal with post-divorce enforcement or modification and for those who are contemplating divorce.

What can divorcing spouses do now to ensure an equitable distribution of property and adequate support?

“If you are going through a divorce or planning to divorce, you should gather as much financial information as possible to establish your pre-pandemic financial situation and your current financial situation,” says Cohen. It is unclear how long the pandemic will affect our lives and our financial circumstances. It certainly will be relevant to see what, if anything, the other party did to lessen the financial impact of the pandemic?

Taking the appropriate steps now could help establish the facts you will need to reach an equitable division of property and to receive adequate support.  It is important to speak with an attorney qualified and experienced in matrimonial and family law to obtain proper advice.

For more on these matters, please see our overview of equitable property distribution in New York.

Johnson & Cohen, LLP, is a New York law firm with many years of experience in resolving complex legal issues arising from family disputes and divorce. Our firm is available for consultations by phone and by video conference. If you have concerns about property division, support or any other divorce or family law matter, we are here to counsel you and help you with your concerns.