Due to the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, an unprecedented number of people are being laid off and fired from work and then suddenly finding themselves unemployed. Not only does a layoff affect your immediate income, but also many other aspects of life that you may not have even thought of yet.

From our legal team at Alatsas Law Firm, here are some tips for protecting yourself and your family after a COVID-19-related layoff from your job.

Asset Protection After a Layoff

If you are being laid off from work, it is very important to ensure that the assets that you have acquired so far are protected. When your income is uncertain, consider asset protection as a financial tool to protect your money from claims and creditors. You need every last penny you have earned when you’ve been laid off, and this is a way to prevent wealth loss due to seizure or taxation.

At Alatsas Law Firm, we can set you up with an asset protection trust, living will or trust, revocable or irrevocable trust, special needs trust, guardianship, Medicaid planning strategy, or elder law planning strategy to meet your needs. Your assets belong to you and not the court system.

Alimony After a Layoff

Your alimony arrangement could change due to a job layoff, which is something that can have a big impact on someone who has legally ended a marriage. After a divorce or separation, one spouse may have been ordered by the court to pay a certain amount, but that legal obligation could be reconsidered if the spouse no longer has a steady income to make these payments. This is just one of the many family law matters that we can help you with at Alatsas Law Firm.

Child Support and Custody After a Layoff

In a similar way, your child support and custody situation could change if one parent is laid off from work. One parent may not be able to pay the same amount for child support payments if he or she no longer has a job. If one parent becomes infected with COVID-19 or is working in a high-risk environment, such as a healthcare setting, it may be in the best interests of the child to adjust the child custody arrangement. Separated or divorced couples must be able to show that the new circumstances following a layoff are so substantial that the terms of a child support or custody agreement are no longer fair to make a significant change.

What to Do If You Are Laid Off During the Pandemic

In this uncertain economy, many people are being blindsided by the effects of COVID-19 and having to file for unemployment for the first time. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed and scared if this happens, but remember that there are still plenty of things that you have control over. Apply for unemployment benefits as soon as possible after your layoff, and negotiate payment plans with your debtors to delay payments of lower interest rates. Understand the local laws about paying rent and evictions and do your best to reduce your personal expenses. This may mean canceling subscriptions that you really don’t need and tightening your budget in as many ways as you can manage.

Talk to your employer about whether you are eligible for severance pay when you are laid off, as well as other benefits through the Employee Benefits Security Administration or with COBRA health insurance. Contact an experienced local attorney to help you handle legal matters and get the compensation you desperately need right now. This is also a great time to learn about in-demand industries during the COVID-19 pandemic and use your skillset and connections to shift careers so that you can support yourself and your family.

Ted Alatsas
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Trusted Brooklyn, New York Family Law Attorney helping NY residents with Elder Law and Asset Protection
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