Covid-19 and Family Law
The Covid-19 pandemic has created upheaval in many aspects of life, including in relation to Family Law issues. Many questions have been raised to our family lawyers about how Covid-19 can affect Family Law property settlements and other family law financial issues. Whilst Melbourne has worked hard to minimize the spread of Covid-19, there is still considerable uncertainty ahead. With the fluctuation of values in shares, properties, and the like, it is important to consider the following when progressing your family law issues:
Superannuation in Family Law Property Settlement
Many matters involve a superannuation split whereby a specific amount of one party’s superannuation is transferred to their ex-partner’s fund. However, given the current volatility of the share market, depending on the circumstances, it may be prudent to negotiate in percentage terms as opposed to adopting a specific sum which is to be transferred.
The value of real estate and many businesses have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Valuation reports are commonly obtained in Family Law matters as assist in quantifying the asset pool. It is important to be aware that valuation reports undertaken a few months ago may not reflect the current values of the relevant asset. If you have not yet undertaken valuations, you may want to consider whether this is a prudent time to do so given the current state of flux in the property market and the uncertainty associated with the viability of many businesses.
Income and Child Support
Various industries have struggled during the pandemic, resulting in many people becoming unemployed or receiving a reduced income. This is relevant to many aspects of a Family Law Property dispute, including one’s ability to financially support themselves and/or their children. The amount of Child Support one provides can be determined either via a Child Support Assessment (which takes into account a number of factors, including income), or a Child Support Agreement, which is similar to a contract. If your income has been affected by the pandemic, you should seek legal advice in relation to child support issues. We can also assist in solving disputes with your partner when it comes time to vaccinate your children.
GLA continues to provide assistance to the community during this challenging time. our family lawyers in Melbourne are available for both face-to-face appointments and also conferences via Zoom.