how is coronavirus affecting families?

How will the COVID-19 Outbreak Impact Families

Whether you are in Auburn or anywhere else in Alabama or around the country, getting divorced is expensive. Not only will there be large one-time costs to pay for attorney fees, legal filings, etc., there are also likely to be some adverse ongoing financial consequences as well.

About one out of every five women fall below the poverty line after a divorce, and most men experience a large drop in their standard of living as well. A divorce can also have adverse financial effects on the children.

Here are some of the most significant ways an Auburn divorce may affect your finances:

  • Lower Income: Although Alabama law calls for the payment of child support and in some cases spousal support, those payments will be less the combined income the couple had when they were together. The paying spouse will also have a reduced income because of the payments, which means that both spouses will probably have a lower standard of living at least in the short term.
  • Fewer Assets: When you are married, you own all of your assets together. After the division of property, you will probably end up with around half of the marital estate. This, of course means a lower bank account balance, less money in your retirement account, and a diminished amount of other property.
  • Higher Expenses: When a couple gets divorced, they are now faced with having to support two households on the same combined income. This means double the housing payments, double utilities, and probably higher food costs as well.
  • Damaged Credit: Your credit is not directly affected by a divorce; in other words, the credit reporting agencies will not lower your score simply because your marriage was dissolved. However, the indirect effects of a divorce can damage your credit score. For example, your spouse could run up credit card bills on a joint account that has your name on it. Or you might have to use more of your available credit to cover short-term expenses. Either of these or similar scenarios can result in a lower credit score.
  • Fewer Opportunities for Children: With a diminished income, you may not be able to afford some of the “extras” that you want for your children, such as paying for sports leagues, music lessons, extra tutoring, or private school. It might also be more difficult to contribute to any college fund you have set up for your kids.
  • Tax Consequences: Once you are divorced, you will have a different filing status and you might end up in a different tax bracket. There may also be other tax implications if you have to sell the marital home, sell a business, or make other major financial decisions.

Surviving Financially after an Auburn Divorce

What we have discussed so far in this article sounds pretty grim. But this is reality – divorce is hard financially, and you need to be mentally prepared for it.

All of that said, getting divorced does not mean you will have adverse financial circumstances forever. There is definitely an adjustment period, but you will get through it, and many people even come out financially stronger on the other side.

Here are some ways to deal with the financial impact of a divorce:

  • Understand your Finances: Take an inventory of your income and assets, so you have the full picture of what you will be dealing with going forward.
  • Decide What you Can Afford: It may be tempting to want to stay in the marital home for sentimental reasons, but it might not make financial sense to do so. Take a look at what housing payment you can afford and plan accordingly.
  • Create a Realistic Budget: Understand that you will need to live on less and make a budget that you will stick to. Budgeting is not the most enjoyable thing to do, but your ability to live within your means is the first step toward financial freedom.
  • Protect Your Credit: Take immediate steps to mitigate the effects of the divorce on your credit. Close any joint credit accounts so your spouse will not be able to cause you any damage. Also, try to open some accounts in your name only, so you have more available credit in case you need it.
  • Think About Ways to Increase your Income: Your income will take a short-term hit, but it does not have to stay this way forever. If you are not already working, consider re-entering the workforce if that is an option for you. You may also want to look at getting additional schooling which might open the door for better opportunities, or if you have an entrepreneurial spirit, maybe there is a business you have always wanted to start but felt inhibited to do so by your marriage.
  • Seek Professional Financial Guidance: Not everyone is strong in the area finances, and you might need some professional help to get you grounded in this area. If so, find a reputable financial advisor who can help you create a solid plan going forward.

Work with an Experienced Auburn, AL Divorce Attorney

Because of the adverse financial effects of a divorce, you will need a lawyer who has extensive legal experience and is committed to advocating forcefully for your best interests. In Auburn, Opelika, and the surrounding communities, get in touch with Alsobrook Law Group today for assistance. Message us online or call our office at 334.737.3718 to schedule a free consultation. We look forward to serving you!

 

 

How the Auburn Community is Pulling Together during the Coronavirus Pandemic

The COVID-19 outbreak is the worst public health emergency to hit the US and the world in our lifetimes. No one has been exempt from the effects of the coronavirus – it has disrupted literally every area of our society and negatively impacted the lives and livelihoods of millions.

Hundreds of thousands of Americans have tested positive for the coronavirus, and tens of thousands have died. Nonessential businesses have been closed temporarily, and many of those who are still working are doing so from home. There are some workers, however, who are on the front lines and cannot work from the safety of their home, but they continue to go to work every day to treat those who have become sick from the virus and keep our society functioning.

One of the silver linings in all of this is the way folks in the Auburn community and other communities throughout the country are pulling together to help those who are struggling to get through this. COVID-19 is one of those rare shared experiences in which everyone is affected, and as Americans have always done during times of crisis, they are stepping up and rising to the challenge.

Here in Auburn, we have seen numerous examples of neighbors helping neighbors who are in need while the coronavirus pandemic is ongoing. And one of the areas in greatest need is the local food shelves.

Finances are extremely tight for many families, which has caused food shelf donations to drop significantly at a time when there are more people who are going hungry. On top of all this, many of the regular food shelf volunteers are seniors and others who are at greater risk of serious or fatal illness from the virus, so they have had to stay home for a while.

Many individuals, businesses, and agencies are responding to the need and doing their part to feed those who are hungry in the Auburn community. For example, Good Karma restaurant on College Street has a bulletin board with pins on it that all represent three meals with a $10 value. These pins have been pre-purchased by others in the community or donated by the restaurant itself.

Like all other Auburn restaurants, Good Karma has had to close their dine-in service, but they are still open for curbside pickup. Those who need a meal can simply call ahead and ask to use one of the pins, then they can come and pick it up. Those who want to donate can also call and purchase a pin for another community member over the phone.

Local churches are also reaching out to help make sure everyone in the community receives a meal. For example, Open Door Tabernacle Church in Opelika has volunteers who go out and shop for groceries to deliver to those who are shut-in and understandably apprehensive about leaving their homes with the risk of viral exposure out there. They are also focused on getting meals into the hands of children who are going hungry because of this crisis.

Here are some of the other ways the Auburn community is pulling together to help each other during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Safe Blood Donations: Because of fears of catching the virus, blood donations are way down. But the need for blood has not changed, and the Red Cross has gone to great lengths to ensure that people can donate blood safely. Before entering their building, donors have their temperatures taken. Once inside, donors are kept at least 6 feet apart in keeping with social distancing guidelines. All of the Red Cross staff wears gloves and masks, and all services are sanitized between donations.
  • Supporting Frontline Workers: Truck drivers, grocery store workers, and those who work in hospitals are among the frontline workers who are considered essential and must go to work every day. Many of these folks are working overtime while they are highly stressed about being potentially exposed to the virus. To support frontline workers, many in the community are sending them food, gifts, and appreciation cards. Others who have the skills are sewing homemade masks that they can wear while they do their jobs.
  • Supporting Local Businesses: Any nonessential business where people gather has had to close for the time-being, and restaurants like Good Karma that remain open are only able to provide drive-through or curbside pickup or delivery. Local consumers know that this situation is very hard on many businesses, especially restaurants, and they are trying to patronize them as much as they can. For those who are open, this means ordering from them on a regular basis. For those who are closed, this means buying a gift card that can be used at a later date so the business can receive the revenue now.

We Will all Get Through this Together

The coronavirus pandemic is the greatest national crisis most of us have ever faced, but we will get through this, and we will all come out stronger because of it. In the meantime, we at the Alsobrook Law Group are fully operational and ready to help with your legal needs. We are doing most of our tasks remotely in accordance with social distancing guidelines, but we have the technology and resources to successfully represent our clients like we always have.

To get in touch with a member of our legal team, call us today at 334.737.3718 or message us online. We are ready to serve you!