Can Marital Property Still be Divided During the Coronavirus Outbreak?

People’s everyday lives have changed in a variety of ways since the Coronavirus outbreak began. This includes the continuation of divorce proceedings that were filed or in motion before the pandemic. Due to the fact that the division of assets is a large part of these proceedings, many spouses are left wondering how this will go about. Continue reading below and contact an experienced New Jersey divorce attorney to learn more about property division. 

How Can Property Division be Impacted?

In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, courts throughout the state of New Jersey temporarily closed or are only open for emergency cases. While many judges are doing certain hearings virtually, matters of property conflict are not as high of a priority as other divorce or family law issues. In addition to this, when the courts reopen, they can be expected to have delays and backups for the next few months. 

When a judge does become available to divide a couple’s marital property, the process can be affected by the outcome of the pandemic. During this time, a judge may require the assistance and opinions of experts to value and divide the property. This can include real estate appraisers, actuaries, brokers, accountants, and more. It is important to remember that judges cannot know what the turnout of the economic crisis and the stability of the economy will be, and these can play a large factor in how a property is valued.

How Do I Protect My Property While I Wait?

Couples who are willing to wait until the pandemic blows over to divide their assets will most likely be concerned about how they can protect them while they wait. This can be done by the following:

  • Discovery. Identify all assets and debts so you are aware of what you have. This can include an informal exchange of information as well as formal methods outside of the court, such as sworn inventories, interrogatories, requests for documents, depositions, etc.
  • Monitoring and managing the assets. Designate which assets each spouse will be managing which assets and paying for which debts. Keep both parties informed of any changes that may happen regarding the assets and stay knowledgeable of all earnings and income. 
  • Temporary agreements or orders. Agreements between both parties exchange reporting about the assets and liabilities in writing so that you can avoid misunderstandings. 

Contact our Firm

 If you require strong legal representation for matters of divorce and family law in New Jersey, contact The Law Offices of Paone, Zaleski & Murphy to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today.