When a once-loving relationship no longer works, thoughts for one or both spouses often turn to separation or divorce. During the past year, these difficult situations have become even more challenging due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Conflicting reports over whether the number of divorces increased or decreased in 2020 only feed the confusion over how the pandemic is affecting couples on the brink of a breakup. If you are in that category, here are some coronavirus-related questions to consider.
Should I wait until the crisis is over?
Many couples who were already headed toward divorce before the pandemic chose to hit the “pause” button, thinking they couldn’t or shouldn’t split up during a health care crisis.
However, many found that more time together due to stay-at-home orders or working remotely and spending all their time in the same house was too much. For some, it only reinforced the knowledge that the marriage was over and a delay was not helpful.
Can I get a timely divorce with courts being closed?
Many courtrooms did shut down for several weeks in early 2020. However, most Texas courts have been 100% open for months – except for in-person jury trials – and learned to adapt using Zoom video conferencing, as did the rest of the world.
In many cases, Zoom hearings only take five minutes where, before, the matter would have taken at least an hour or more of your time for a hearing in a courtroom before a judge. That’s not to say that the process is any easier on the nerves than before.
How should I move forward?
No one-size-fits-all answer exists for anyone considering separation or divorce, and the pandemic has created another layer of stress. The best advice is to show empathy for your spouse and work together through collaborative law to achieve a peaceful divorce.
While that may be easier said than done, collaboration allows both parties to control the process and keep the details of their lives private. Depending upon your needs, you’ll work with a lawyer as well as mental health or financial professionals working to help you achieve the best outcome.
Thinking clearly during the COVID-19 pandemic
Being in a perpetual state of crisis is stressful, and stress impacts our ability to think logically. Protecting your future during a divorce requires critical thinking to make the best possible decisions affecting your children and your financial stability. That’s why it is vital to get knowledgeable and supportive advice.