Plan for Emergencies in Your Post-Divorce Life


Divorce was a massive change in your personal life, and the rest of the world is going through some huge changes too. Sometimes they’re a slow burn in the background of today’s news. Other times you need to take action to cope with problems that shake up your life. 

The Next Pandemic 

Few of us were prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic and the problems it posed to parents. Children couldn’t attend school. Jobs were lost or performed at home. Debates over vaccines raged. COVID-19 is still around and could potentially mutate into something far more dangerous. Other viruses could become the next pandemic. 

Add this to the list of crises you and your fellow parent must prepare for:  

  • If kids can’t go to school, where will they be? Will they split time between the two of you? What’s the best arrangement if one or both of you work at home?  
  • Have the two of you decided whether your children should be vaccinated against current threats or ones that may develop in the future? How will future medical decisions be made if the two of you can’t agree? 

We all learned how to get by during the COVID-19 lockdown. We should be better prepared if one happens again. 

Economic Uncertainty 

The inflation rate is high, reducing our buying power, but overall, the economy is doing well. There’s no sign inflation will back down any time soon, but the economy will inevitably slow and possibly go into recession. The loss of millions of jobs could bring down inflation, though that’s a method no one wants. 

It’s just a matter of time before the economy weakens and the two of you should discuss how you’ll handle it. What happens if one or both of you are unemployed? How would that impact spousal and child support? 

Despite all these unknowns, there are things you can count on:  

  • Paying child support is mandated by law, though there’s room for a judge to make adjustments in individual cases. If you pay it, losing your job is a reason to ask a judge to lower your payments, but that may not be enough. The judge may not reduce them as much as you’d like or decide you should be able to find another job and keep up the payments 
  • Spousal support obligations in a divorce order continue until a judge agrees to amend them. Both parties could agree these payments can be cut during the payor’s unemployment. Without an agreement, it would be up to a judge to decide if the ex-spouse’s lost job justifies lower payments  

You don’t know what you, your ex, or your kids may need in the future. Though it may be difficult, having at least a working relationship with your former spouse can help you deal with future emergencies. 

Get the Help You Need From a Family Law Attorney You Can Trust 

Contact Karen Ann Ulmer, P.C., if you have questions or need representation in a divorce, child support, or child custody matter. Call our office at (215) 608-1867 to schedule a consultation. We can speak over the phone, via teleconference, or meet in our Doylestown or Langhorne office.