The Law Offices of Alan L. Finkel
5036 Jericho Turnpike
Suite 208 Second Floor
Commack, NY 11725
In a fantasy land, the working spouse would be able to provide the same lifestyle to the stay at home parent in a divorce that he or she got accustomed to during the marriage. But in the real world, the pure economics of the expenses of life doesn’t allow it. There are statistics that show that the majority of Suffolk County residents are having a difficult time living together in one house based upon the combined income of both husband and wife especially after COVID-19 hit. If that kind of household is going to breakup and one of the spouses is going to move out, even if you live with your mother and sister, the expenses are going to increase. For example, food, one simple exercise, insurance, when you shop for a family of 4, it does not cost you three quarters of the expenses to now shop for a family of 3.
The one who is not living with the three has expenses like extra bottles of mustard and ketchup that were not in the equation to begin with. When the spouse moves the marital residence and that spouse sets up a new home, everything has to be duplicated. You need an extra bottle of milk, you need a whisk room, you need a vacuum cleaner, furniture. Now, these numbers don’t sound particularly daunting but it all costs money and all of these costs are going up. Additionally, most people do not have relative’s homes to move into and so they have to establish a brand new household including rent, utilities, permutation expenses, insurance, food, furniture, so where does this money come from? If the income of the couple has not changed and the only change is divorce, how can they possibly expect to live the same lifestyle?
You can’t; impossible. One of them or both of them has to be figuring out what’s to be done in order to survive and to make it work in the best interests of the children. That may mean getting an extra job, from the expenses, selling the house and downsizing or moving away from Long Island. In the era of COVID-19, families living in Long Island no longer have the viable option of commuting into Manhattan every day which is where the money is, because the necessity to get to the railroad is not feasible, at least not for now and many large companies in the city are no longer requiring the presence of 5 days in the office, just telecommuting has become real. The pandemic has caused great angst between couples and our divorce rate in Suffolk County is rising. Many couples are opting to stay in the same house because of the economics. It’s difficult but what’s in the best interests of the children?
Well, children living with dysfunctional parents is not the greatest thing but it sure beats not eating. Smart couples today would consider going to mediation to have an evaluation of their marital estate done to see if they can be divorced in 2 separate households and continue to live in Suffolk County. If their jobs will allow it and they can telecommute to work virtually, they could consider moving to North Carolina or Florida. That’s a big win and something that has never been available before to Long Island couples is now reality.
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