While South Carolina continues to experience a spike in the number of coronavirus cases, the state remains open for business. With stores, restaurants, and offices operating again, people have resumed many of their normal activities. Couples who had previously delayed getting a divorce may be ready to move forward with these proceedings, but are now finding out how the fallout from COVID-19 significantly impacts their divorce case.
Pandemic Related Impacts and Your Divorce
The Aiken County Family Court has reopened to the general public after months of being closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. While social distancing guidelines and other precautions are being followed, court proceedings and hearing schedules have largely returned to normal. For couples who had delayed filing for divorce, now may be the time to initiate these proceedings.
Throughout the months of March, April, and May, the impacts of COVID-19 affected every area of our lives. As a result, it could complicate some of the following matters in your divorce case:
Marital property division. Under the South Carolina Code, all property, assets, and debts that accumulated during your marriage must be divided between you and your spouse in the event of a divorce. Job losses and reductions in hours during the pandemic may have impacted your financial accounts and caused you to rack up additional debts. You may also be behind in payments on mortgages or other property, which could impact your rights in these proceedings.
Spousal support payments. In cases where one partner makes considerably less than the other or sacrificed their own career for the sake of the marriage, the court may order spousal support, otherwise known as alimony. Again, losses in your partner’s pay or benefits could be an issue, reducing the amount you are entitled to.
Fault grounds. South Carolina recognizes fault grounds in divorce. These include behaviors such as adultery, habitual drunkenness, and domestic abuse. While these may not have been an issue before, they may have arisen during the pandemic and can entitle you to a larger amount in your divorce settlement.
Divorce and Child Custody
If you and your spouse have children together, issues pertaining to child custody and support will be dealt with during your divorce. Pandemic-related problems can impact the outcome of these proceedings as well in the following ways:
Rights to custody. A South Carolina parenting plan will be used to determine the amount of time the child spends in each parent’s home. If the other parent behaved badly during the pandemic, it could negatively reflect on their parenting skills and may impact their right to custody.
Child support obligations. The fallout from the pandemic can also impact their ability to pay child support. However, regardless of whether they lost their job or suffered a reduction in income, they will still be expected to provide financially for their child.
Let Us Help You Today
There are many ways that the fallout from COVID-19 can impact your divorce. However, while COVID-19 may have complicated your divorce proceedings, the Surasky Law Firm, LLC is here to help. Contact our Aiken divorce attorney and request a consultation today.