Ready to Divorce After Quarantining? Consider These Three Things First
When U.S. cities and states began implementing COVID-19 quarantines in March, many relationship analysts predicted that marriages would suffer under the strain. Now it appears that gloomy forecast could be coming true. A recent online survey found that 31% of couples believe the quarantine caused irreparable harm to their relationship.
It’s No Surprise Divorce Rates Are Up
Family law attorneys and marriage counselors say it’s easy to understand why the quarantine was hard on relationships. The hustle and bustle of everyday life made it easy for some couples to ignore relationship warning signs. However, once they were forced to spend weeks or months in a confined space together, they could no longer escape their relationship problems. Add stresses like financial worries, unemployment fears, boredom and health anxieties to the mix, and many couples were pushed to the breaking point. Internet statistics show that divorce-related web searches spiked during the lockdown period, and divorce attorneys across the country are reporting an uptick in divorce inquiries compared to previous years.
If your marriage suffered during the pandemic, you may be ready to call it quits. However, there are three important things you should consider before making your divorce legal.
1. Is This Is Really the End?
Divorce can be a long, disruptive and expensive event. If there is any chance that you can reconcile with your partner and work toward a happy marriage, you may benefit from doing so. Marriage counseling could help you and your spouse resolve conflicts and get your relationship back on track. Many therapists offer virtual sessions, which is ideal for couples who are still in quarantine or want to maintain social distancing. However, not all marriages can be saved. If you believe your relationship is beyond repair, it’s better to end things and move on. You can start the process by contacting a Pennsylvania divorce lawyer and scheduling a consultation.
2. Understand That Your Life Will Change
Once you decide to divorce, you need to understand that your life will never be the same. The end of a marriage marks the beginning of a new life. Some of the changes will be good, but some could be unexpected and painful. For example, you may feel relieved when your partner moves out of the family home, but you might also find it difficult to maintain the property on your own. Meanwhile, you may love the peace and quiet that comes with separation, but you might struggle with your new identity as a single person or find that you lose friends over the split. Divorce causes many conflicting emotions and unforeseen social changes, and you need to be prepared for all the ways it could impact your life. A divorce lawyer might be able to help you identify some of these changes and make sure they are addressed during settlement negotiations.
3. Get Your Finances in Order
Even in the best of times, divorce is expensive. However, the COVID-19 pandemic could add an extra layer of financial risk. The threat of unemployment, rising health care costs and depleted retirement accounts could make it difficult to fairly divide assets. Because of this, it is essential that you fully understand your financial situation, including your income, assets and liabilities, before you enter divorce negotiations.
You need to create a realistic post-divorce budget and determine how you will pay for it on a single income. It might be necessary to change jobs, move into a smaller home, reduce discretionary spending or sell assets to stay within your means. Whatever the situation, having a clear financial picture will make it easier for you to negotiate a fair divorce settlement. It will also help you set realistic expectations for your post-divorce life.
The Law Office of Joanne Kleiner could help you navigate your divorce during the COVID-19 pandemic and offer essential advice on asset division, child custody, child support, spousal support and other important divorce legal issues. To set up a consultation, please contact us through our website or call our Jenkintown office at (215) 886-1266.