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Divorcing in the Time of Coronavirus: IRS’s Surprise Tax Extension May Help you Plan

Disclaimer: This article does not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions about your individual situation it is best to seek the advice of an experienced legal professional.

Divorce planning in the time of Coronavirus is no joke. Unfortunately for many people, it involves picking up the pieces of plans that seemed firm and certain. There are so many questions: can I sell my house or close on the purchase of any property, given strict social distancing policies? If not, how do I find liquidity in my assets? How long do I wait before moving my divorce process forward?

There’s also the more existential question that people are asking: how much action can I take now without risking everything, and what plans can actually be made now that won’t need a complete reevaluation in a matter of months?

Even though the future may be difficult to predict, there is some good news. The IRS has extended the tax deadline, so there may be an opportunity to make tax advantaged plans with your divorcing spouse when it comes to dividing your assets.

Additionally, if you have chosen to mediate your divorce outside the traditional settings involving lawyers and courts you are more empowered then you think. Coronavirus may have stopped you from going to work and socializing, but it can’t stop you from information gathering and it has no power over your ability to work with your spouse.

When you choose mediation you are choosing a process that prioritizes solutions for mutual benefit rather than a win/lose mentality. If there are any emotional obstacles to working together, the mediators at Boileau Conflict Solution have psychoanalytical expertise and use reliable methods to help you step back from conflict and identify your true needs and interests. Even if you decide not to make financial plans at all in the current climate, the Covid-19 pause may be a highly appropriate time for reflection and getting to the bottom of inner emotional issues with your divorcing spouse. That said, if you are feeling itchy to take care of practical matters, there are many things that can be laid out on the virtual table in your mediation sessions. The good news of course is that mediation can easily be done online, and perhaps even better, you don’t have to be in the same room as your divorcing partner. The following are some important practical and financial issues divorcing partners may need to get to grips with before the new tax deadline:

  • Reaching out to any debt providers or mortgage lenders about refinancing and policies. Making agreements with your spouse on refinancing timelines that suit you. Making sure to enter into thoughtful contracts that take account of uncertainties.
  • Determining the value of your assets in the new climate. Deciding whether to move or sell investments.
  • Reevaluating the financial needs of spouses during a period of layoffs and uncertainties. It could be that breadwinner roles reverse, which may cause difficult power dynamics between you and your divorcing partner
  • Researching any form of government assistance that may be available to you for losses due to the Covid-19 disaster
  • If you are a business owner, you will need to keep detailed records of your losses. You may need to reevaluate your business and get ahead of new demands, such as getting set up for more online ordering. If you depend on this business and/or you work with your spouse you may want into integrate your business planning into your divorce mediation sessions.
  • Assessing the tax implications of any financial overhauls on your tax exemptions and getting prepared.
  • Estate planning and planning to care for yourself and your children in case you get sick. Negotiations regarding your divorcing partner’s level of involvement in these decisions and entitlement to assets.

Who We Are and How We Can Help

We are caring, well-educated mediators who are skilled in applied financial mathematics, the law psychoanalysis, and game theory. We strive to efficiently comprehend your situation and its opportunities for sustainable and agreeable resolution. We can either confidentially present you with a private analysis, or mediate the conflict with both of you until resolved. Any resolution you come to will be informed by a deeper analysis of the conflict that can be psychoanalytic and/or more financially-focused. Conflict analysis can result in a more optimized understanding of the net community property, which adds value to the overall estate, benefiting you both. Our specially trained divorce mediator-accountants can also help reveal and investigate the proven financial facts of a divorce to make a full financial appraisal of your divorce and to suggest creative solutions for financial planning after divorce. Our high-level divorce mediation services are tailored to the needs of people with complex lives or divorces that may be difficult or protracted. We can intervene to break litigation deadlocks when divorces are already underway. We work with individuals from several cultures and countries, and can help with national and international relocation issues associated with divorce. You can visit us at our offices in Campbell, CA, Irvine, CA and San Diego, CA. We can also be reached by Telephone, Zoom or Facetime. We are available 7 days a week and at urgent notice. Please contact us to see how we can help.

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