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Divorce Proceedings during COVID


     Spring 2020 was a time like no other. Governor Cuomo’s Stay at Home Advisory, an attempt to “flatten the curve” of a global pandemic, decimated countless facets of human life. While certainly a valiant effort to protect public health, advising people to shelter at home had many unintended consequences. In particular, staying at home for extended periods of time caused tremendous strain on even the strongest of marriages, particularly on those marriages that were already on the brink of divorce.

     The levels of stress married people endured during this time was unfathomable – balancing their children’s virtual school with working from home, coupled with the financial repercussions of the pandemic, left people feeling hopeless. Moreover, couples who previously enjoyed socializing outside of the home were hit even harder by the widespread closures of most social activities and community events.

     Unsurprisingly, during this time, marriages crumbled and divorce rates soared. However, many people were unprepared to navigate the “new normal” of (predominately virtual) divorce proceeding. Now, as the State’s infection rate continues to steadily climb, and with the expected holiday surge approaching, it is clear that New Yorkers will again be sheltering at home, at least to some degree, for their health and safety.

     While many court proceedings were suspended, courts are accepting new divorce petitions and are accepting stipulations and incorporating them into orders. If you are planning to divorce your spouse, there are many proactive steps you can take to ensure that you are prepared. Firstly, you should gather all relevant financial information reflecting your assets and income for you and your spouse. Moreover, you should make copies of credit card statements, mortgage statements, and any debts that you owe. In addition, you should keep track of your monthly living expenses. With this information readily available, you and your attorney can move full speed ahead with informed discussions and planning.   

     Our team of matrimonial experts have certainly kept up with the times. Since the Spring, we have participated in virtual court conferences and hearings all while zealously representing our clients. Moreover, we have continued to guide our matrimonial clients through telephonic and virtual means. If you are considering divorcing your spouse, please do not hesitate to contact us for a free consult.