According to the Centers for Disease Control, over 1,600 people in the U.S. have been infected with the coronavirus (COVID-19). This number is expected to grow in the coming days and weeks. 41 people have died as of this writing. The country is in a state of national emergency and it appears that the way in which we live our lives might change for the foreseeable future as medical professionals respond to new cases of disease and as officials work to contain the spread of the disease. As of this writing, hospitals have not become overwhelmed, but if the situation in other countries is any indication, it is important that we all take steps now to protect the most vulnerable and elderly among us.

If you are in the process of filing for a divorce in Yuma, Arizona, or are in the process of negotiating your child custody agreement, or have concerns about how coronavirus (COVID-19) might impact your child custody agreement, Schneider & Onofry, P.C. is a divorce lawyer in Yuma, Arizona that may be able to help you. Our divorce lawyers are here to answer your questions and help you navigate your divorce during this stressful time. We are here.
Many people are just beginning to grasp the gravity of the situation and the response across the U.S. has varied dramatically depending on where you live and how significant the outbreak has been. In a situation like this, it is important to remain calm. If you are going through a divorce at this time, you might already be feeling stressed out. Here are some things to keep in mind:
• Watch for Court Updates if You Have a Court Date Coming Soon. As the coronavirus emergency develops, courts may shut down or may not choose to hear any “non-essential” cases. If the outbreak expands, the courts may shut down entirely, which could impact your divorce court hearing or dates. Watch for updates, stay in touch with your divorce lawyer, and be prepared to cancel your appearance if you are sick.
• Consider that Mediation or Divorce Settlement Meetings May Be Postponed or Held Virtually. As people are being asked to self-isolate if they come down with symptoms of coronavirus, be prepared for meetings regarding your divorce to be held virtually over Skype or for meetings to be delayed or postponed. Schneider & Onofry, P.C. is a divorce lawyer in Yuma, Arizona that is closely watching as this situation develops. Get in touch with your divorce attorney if you have any questions or concerns about upcoming meetings or dates, and please reach out to us if you are feeling ill and have a meeting scheduled.
• Vulnerable Assets and Division of Property. If you have stocks or a retirement account that must be divided during your divorce, the recent stock market shocks could potentially have an impact on your divorce settlement, especially if you were previously close to a settlement that was based on an assessment of your stocks before the coronavirus outbreak began to significantly impact the markets. Now might be the time to speak to your accountant and your divorce lawyer to discuss how recent shocks to the market might impact your divorce settlement. Some may even want to establish a “wait and see” attitude at least for the next few weeks to give things a chance to settle down.
• Your House. While the real estate market hasn’t seemed to take as significant a hit as the stock market, selling your house right now might be difficult. If the outbreak becomes more serious, people may not be out looking at homes. So, you may need to discuss alternatives with your divorce lawyer, or again, consider waiting out the worst stages of the outbreak.
• Child Custody. If you are in the process of working out a child custody agreement, now is a great time to consider how you and your former spouse will manage child custody in the event of an emergency, and consider how you’ll handle child custody if you’ve been asked to isolate yourself, or if social distancing measures are put in place. Who will care for the children if schools are cancelled? If you already have a child custody agreement in place, but haven’t taken into account an emergency like the coronavirus, now might be the time to have a discussion with your former spouse. Will you proceed as normally? What if one of you gets sick? What if the children get sick? Answering these questions now can help prevent surprises going forward.
• Child Support. The coronavirus has had a major impact on the travel industry, the hospitality industry, and other industries. If one or both partners are laid off or are out of work for a period of time, you may want to discuss how you’ll handle this situation. Both parents are required to support their children financially, and generally a child support modification must be sought if one parent’s financial situation changes dramatically. Filing a court motion while the courts are closed may be a challenge. Planning ahead now and discussing how you’ll care for the needs of your children as this emergency evolves is wise.
These are just some of the things to keep in mind regarding your divorce and how the coronavirus emergency might impact it. If you are thinking about getting divorced, are in the process of filing for divorce, or have questions about how the coronavirus emergency might impact your child custody agreement, reach out to Schneider & Onofry, P.C., a divorce law firm in Yuma, Arizona today. Or reach out to USAttorneys.com to get connected with Schneider & Onofry, P.C.
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