An Alternative Option to a Divorce During the Coronavirus Lockdown

Many New York couples are feeling the pressure right now. Whether it is because they are laid off, or are struggling to keep their small business alive, they are staying home with their significant other during the COVID-19 pandemic. And during this time, they realize that their partner is not right for them anymore. I recently received a call from a wife who is married for six years asking me for information about how to file for a divorce during the Coronavirus lockdown. I asked her why she wants a divorce, and she said “I can’t be in this stressful relationship anymore. We both agree that we are not meant for each other.”

As Governor Andrew Cuomo continues to extend the closure of businesses for non-essential workers, divorce courts are operating only on an emergency basis and are not accepting new divorce filings. But that does not mean that couples have to wait until the lockdown is lifted to start the divorce process. Right now is the time to move towards developing a divorce strategy because the stock market is down and therefore you can lock in the low value of your assets and protect yourself for the future. For example, if you own a business, stock portfolio or retirement accounts, your spouse is entitled to 50 % of what has accumulated from the date of the marriage until the date of the filing of the divorce. But what can you do if divorce courts are not accepting new cases?

Separation Agreement as An Alternative Option to a Divorce

Separation agreements will also lock in the date of the accumulation of marital assets, which can save you money in the long run. I have successfully provided couples that are unable to file for a divorce because of the Coronavirus lockdown in signing a separation agreement and stopping the accumulation of marital assets. When courts eventually reopen, those couples can convert their separation agreement into a divorce and the terms of the separation agreement are incorporated into the judgment of divorce. Couples should consider this option because a separation agreement does not have to be filed with the court and can be drafted in one day.

The Louis Law Firm is open and ready to help you during the COVID-19 lockdown. If you are thinking about a divorce or just want to know the different options you have, do not wait until the courts reopen. Waiting until the lockdown is over to start the divorce process could cost you thousands of dollars. Don’t wait and call The Louis Law Firm at (347) 689-7562 right now to schedule a free strategy session.