The coronavirus pandemic has affected people’s lives in ways no one ever thought possible. What started as a threat to people’s health has become a much bigger issue. Students have to adjust to Zoom classes; some previously-employed individuals have been laid off while others have to work from home.
Another aspect of people’s lives affected by the coronavirus is personal relationships, particularly that of married couples. The lockdown measures and shelter-in-place orders imposed at the height of the pandemic have forced plenty of couples to spend a lot of time together. Perhaps even too much time. And while a lot of marriages can survive that much togetherness, it was a catalyst for others’ decision to divorce their spouse.
Why Divorce Rates are Rising Amid the Pandemic
In China, the number of separations surged once the government-mandated lockdown measures were lifted. In the U.S., plenty of married individuals are seeking the help of divorce lawyers because they have discovered they are not compatible with their spouses, have been having communication problems, or are experiencing domestic abuse, thus the need for divorce.
And as if the decision to end their marriage wasn’t hard enough, going through a divorce while there’s a pandemic can be even more challenging. Law offices are operating remotely, and U.S. courts are either completely closed or working with a skeleton staff. But while all these are delaying the divorce process, it doesn’t mean you should wait or give up, especially if your reason for wanting a divorce is an emergency.
If you’re sure of your decision, here’s how you can successfully file for a divorce in the middle of a pandemic:
1. Decide how to approach the divorce
The way to approach your divorce depends on how well you communicate with your spouse. If you both want the same thing and can come to an agreement between the both of you, you can have a pro se divorce. You can also choose to go on litigation and have a judge decide on things you cannot agree upon on your own.
2. Assemble your legal team
Once you’ve established how to approach your divorce, the next step is to involve a divorce lawyer experienced in family law. They can guide you on the intricate processes of family court and help you file your divorce paperwork. Your divorce lawyer will also ensure that your rights as an individual are upheld throughout the process.
3. Use available technology and resources
Depending on where you live, online divorce is completely possible. This reduces the need to go to court and risk contracting the virus. Some courts may also conduct video conferencing to finalize the judgment on your marriage.
4. Plan for the future
Once the divorce is final, you can start planning for a better future for you. Of course, if you have kids with your ex-spouse, your future may not be completely free of them. Still, you will be a free person and won’t have to endure incompatibility with or abuse from another person.
Like many regular processes, divorce and other legal operations have been affected by the pandemic. But with the right knowledge and team with you, you can move on from your marriage and the pandemic and look forward to a brighter future.