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Divorcing During the Pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic may affect various aspects of a divorce, including the divorce process, the family’s safety, and wellbeing, and the ability to pay the bills and support payments, among others.

There are certain steps that people going through the divorce process should take to protect themselves and their assets during these uncertain times. The following are some specific aspects that the pandemic may affect and what to do to avoid issues during the divorce process.

How the Pandemic Will Affect the Divorce

A divorce is a kind of lawsuit. Because of the nature of a divorce and other types of lawsuits, the divorce process is largely dependent on the court system’s ability to function. The pandemic has influenced the way courts are handling divorce cases in a number of ways, including the process of filing petitions and motions, delays in trials and hearings, and the ability to finalize the divorce.

As a surge in divorce filings is anticipated once the mandatory confinement period ceases, many courts have done what they can to allow divorcees to complete the process through e-filing and attend virtual hearings through video conferencing with judges.

However, some may be unable to complete the divorce process due to delays. It’s important to speak with a divorce attorney who can inform divorcing couples about the specific rules based on their jurisdiction and how the delays could impact their lives.

Employment and Ability to Pay Bills

The unemployment rate is increasing as a result of the pandemic, and while it’s uncertain how long this recession will last, large-scale layoffs are inevitable during recessions, along with decreased pay for many of those still employed.

Any change in employment can affect individuals who are in the middle of a divorce, potentially rendering them unable to make support payments or others. Even with the stimulus check, many people are struggling as they still need to make child support payments along with bills, insurance, and other payments.

The best way to mitigate this is to try to come together to maximize household income, which will help maintain a balance. Preparing for a job search can also help secure a new position or help prepare for a potential layoff.

Family’s Wellbeing

During these times, it’s important for both spouses to share the same ideas and goals around social distancing and adherence to stay-at-home guidelines. Children dividing time between both parents and homes can be at risk of exposure to the virus along with their parents.

While it’s important for a family to maintain good communication, safety is also crucial. Bonding together through physical activity at home and communicating between households via video conferencing can help maintain a healthy family.

Taking these steps and keeping the various effects of the pandemic in mind can help overcome the additional challenges that come with divorcing in this environment.

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