Divorce is more than signing paperwork, it is a series of steps and meetings to divide assets and distribute out the shared estate. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has complicated certain aspects of divorce, including alimony, child support, and child custody. COVID-19 has caused couples to spend more time together, which can create friction. Quarantining at home during the pandemic can cause emotions to run high. Since couples cannot participate in their typical routines, they cannot be independent. This produces tension and a lack of space within a household. Couples who are in the process of divorce, or who recently decided to do so, may face many issues due to the ongoing pandemic.
What Factors Commonly Contribute to Divorce?
There are many reasons why divorce occurs, including:
- Age: Younger couples are more likely to divorce.
- Infidelity: This can be an emotional or physical affair.
- Lack of Intimacy: A lack of intimacy during quarantine can cause a couple to divorce.
- Growing Apart: Couples who have been together a long time may grow apart and realize that they do not have anything in common.
- Money: Finances can take a toll on any relationship, and it is even more difficult during the pandemic.
All aspects of divorce are harder during a pandemic, including the financial impact it has on a couple. The most challenging financial part of a divorce is dividing the marital assets, such as real estate and businesses. COVID-19 has increased the challenge of dividing assets due to many companies going out of business.
Selling property normally helps support spouses financially, but this cannot happen if it does not provide any income during this time. It is important to talk with a divorce lawyer about different approaches for uncovering the value of property to get more money out of the division of assets.
Ex-spouses will also face the challenge of paying or receiving child support when one or both spouses have or might lose their jobs. This is a constant stressor for ex-spouses and can cause them to argue more often. This kind of stress will make the divorce process seem harder and increase the tension between spouses.
Communication is Important
Communicating in a civil manner will help a divorce go smoothly. This can be difficult when tensions are high, and emotions are involved. Although it can be difficult, if ex-spouses can openly communicate and work together, it will benefit everyone. To communicate efficiently, one must remain focused on the issues at hand and avoid rehashing the past. Remain calm and listen to what an ex-spouse has to say. The way one approaches the divorce process will dictate how well the divorce will go.
In many cases, ex-spouses do not come out of a divorce as friends; therefore, it is important to have a support system throughout the divorce process. A spouse may have been one’s only support before the divorce, but now one needs to rely on other people. Having friends and family close by will help a person express their emotions in a way that does not affect the divorce process.
Parent as a Team
If ex-spouses have children, sharing part of their lives together is an important step in the parenting process. Ex-spouses should work as a team. It is important that they do not let their children hear fighting, it may cause stress in their lives. A common issue during the pandemic involves child custody agreements. Many spouses do not want their children seeing the other spouse because they fear they will contract COVID-19. Parents who work in health care have been denied visitation due to their proximity to the virus. This has also been happening to parents who live out of state or in hotspots. It is important for parents to compromise with each other for the sake of their children, and if custody agreements need to change, it should be allowed.
Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, divorces are still being filed, and prior cases are still moving forward. The pandemic has increased the amount of divorce filings and most legal meetings are happening virtually to protect all parties involved. Although the intimacy of an in-person meeting is lost, the divorce process can still be completed. The amount of divorces being filed during this time are linked to the pandemic. Spouses need to consider all aspects before pursuing a divorce. Stress levels only increase due to the uncertainty of COVID-19. Hiring a lawyer will make this process easier.
Is Domestic Violence Increasing?
The current COVID-19 pandemic has also led to a decrease in reports of domestic violence, which is a concern. Domestic violence is normally reported by other people. If people are not leaving their homes, those who being abused are more vulnerable. Domestic violence may also increase the divorce rate during this time because spouses are finally realizing that they do not live in a healthy environment. It is important to contact a divorce lawyer right away if one is facing domestic violence.
Some couples who are having issues may decide to get through the pandemic together and figure out their plan once the virus is under control. Once the courts are fully open and operating again, divorces will likely increase because the process will be easier. Also, during the pandemic, spouses have a lot of time to discuss the issues they are having in their marriage, which will make the decision to divorce easier once the pandemic is over. If one is considering a divorce, they should speak to a lawyer right away to start the process.
Bucks County Divorce Lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Help Clients During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused many challenges for couples wanting to divorce. If you need help with any part of the divorce process, one of our Bucks County divorce lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. can assist you. Call us at 888-999-1962 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Pinehurst, North Carolina, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania.