Does it make sense to postpone a divorce during a pandemic?

For people who were already considering a divorce earlier this year, the current pandemic likely creates a whole new set of personal, health care and financial concerns.

Many wonder whether it makes sense to wait until the situation improves before going ahead with a divorce, but it’s even more challenging since no one knows how long it will last or how big of an impact it may have.

Factors to consider when contemplating divorce

When taking the current health situation into account, everyone’s priorities are different, and the decision will depend upon their own situation. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Health insurance: If your spouse’s plan covers you, the costs may go up considerably if you keep your current coverage under the COBRA law, or through the health insurance marketplace.
  • Income: Divorce can cause a financial strain for most people, especially when supporting two homes with the same income. Millions of people have also lost their jobs in recent weeks leading to even more economic hardships.
  • Support payments: This can be a tricky time to establish child support or alimony, especially if one or both spouses have been laid off or furloughed. However, the amount of those payments can be adjusted accordingly when or if the paying ex-spouse’s income changes.
  • Asset division: For couples who have a significant amount of marital wealth in stocks, they may have already seen a substantial drop in the value of those assets. However, since investment accounts typically are “fairly” divided during a divorce, each party should see an increase in value when stocks recover.
  • Divorce costs: Depending upon the complexity of the situation, a divorce typically costs anywhere from $2,000 to $30,000. Those who want to move forward can save money by choosing mediation or a collaborative divorce.

Weigh the options that matter most

There is no easy answer that fits everyone’s situation when it comes to pursuing a divorce during the current pandemic. The answer will be different depending upon their circumstances. Some may be reluctant to go ahead with the process during an uncertain time. For others, the impacts may not be as significant, and the personal benefits may outweigh the financial concerns.

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