By Thacker Sleight
With the Coronavirus impacting almost every aspect of our lives, schedules and routines will change because of the virus, and that could include your divorce process. Here are some things to think about if you are in the middle of the divorce process.
Child Custody and Parenting Time
Because of school closures and quarantines, parenting plans may be disrupted. You need to determine now who will be with the children during the day. Spring break trips are right around the corner and will most probably need to be rescheduled or even canceled.
If a trip does take place and one party does not agree to allow the parties’ children to travel, how will the reimbursement of expenses or the decision of if the child can go be decided? We recommend that you not travel during spring break and have a staycation.
Child Support and Spousal Support
Not only are schools enforcing quarantines, but several companies are also. Some companies may have paid leave; some may not. If your ex-spouse works for the travel or hospitality industry; their revenue may decline significantly. Both may affect income, which will inevitably affect child support and spousal support obligations.
Stocks are being hit hard, and portfolios are losing value. Current or past business valuations may not be accurate at this time. Property division will be challenging as values may fluctuate over the coming weeks.
Finally, as this virus spreads, it is vital to be aware of your medical coverage options. Once your divorce is final, a former spouse cannot remain on their ex-spouse’s health insurance plan and will need to secure coverage elsewhere, whether that be through an employer or COBRA. For children, the parent not maintaining health insurance should consider the entry of a Qualified Medical Child Support Order to authorize the health insurance company to provide him or her with access to the plan in case your child gets sick during this time.
Remember to take precautions and heed all of the Center for Disease Control’s recommendations.
Taking the proper precautions to protect yourself and your family is essential during this Coronavirus outbreak and especially during the stress of a divorce.