Divorcing in uncertain times, like what we are experiencing right now with COVID -19, adds another level of complication to the decision to divorce, and to the process of divorcing. When you also add in the looming threat of a recession that is a lot to deal with. For couples in this unpleasant situation, mediation can be a preferable way to work out the best possible outcome for all concerned with as little stress as possible
Right now, more of us are stuck together without extended family and friends, without our usual busy days filled with wall to wall activities and without our emotional outlets of time spent on hobbies, sports, or going on vacations. We are necessarily more insular and less busy and that can easily reveal cracks in a marriage. It can also be an opportunity to find an ideal situation for all those involved.
Some couples may be struggling because all of these stressors are incredibly hard on marriages and some issues simply become too inflamed to manage alone. This is where mediation shines. Instead of endless arguing, a mediator can help align the couple’s goals as they consider all their options.
Divorce During A Pandemic
Here are some important things you may want to consider regarding divorce during a pandemic:
- Learning exactly how a divorce will proceed during pandemic – what is the status of the courts and how are they operating. Currently many are using zoom to reduce in-person contact.
- Consider that new lockdowns can occur and how that might affect your marriage, divorce, and divorce process.
- It is always advisable to gather financial information and find a path to financial independence, but especially so in the pandemic.
- Consider what is the best solution for all parties and not get locked into an argumentative position with lawyers setting the tone.
- Decide if divorce the only solution or does the couple want to explore other options.
- If there are children in the marriage, how will you handle pandemic related parenting issues like attending school, events, mask rules, new people (exposure) and so on
As we mentioned, another complicating factor right now is the potential for economic disruption, like a recession or impacts on individual finances or employment.
Divorce In A Recession
Below are some important considerations about a divorce during a recession:
- The couple needs to weigh the concerns about a recession and its impact against the concerns about staying in the marriage.
- The value of assets may be lower and may impact how assets and debts are divided.
- Couples may need to consider concerns about job stability in a recession and prepare for changes in employment, earnings, and valuations.
- Plans for spousal support and child support may need to be arranged so that any downturn or improvement in the financial situation is easily managed.
Can You Save Your Marriage During The Pandemic?
If both parties are open to the idea of saving the marriage, then it has the chance to be saved and even the possibility of being strengthened. If both parties head straight to lawyers it can be harder to leave open the option to remain together. With mediation, the pair can communicate what needs to be addressed and they are not automatically “at odds” or in a fighting stance. If one of the couple wants divorce but not the partner, as long as they are open to discussion, having a chance to communicate concerns and needs means anything is possible.
A pandemic with the potential for a recession is not your typical time of life for anyone and we are all doing our best with this curveball that has been thrown at us. For couples considering divorce, there are many elements to take into consideration and we at Affordable Mediation are especially skilled at helping couples navigate these concerns and issues. We would love to have a chance to help you with your goals. You can reach us at https://affordablemediationaz.com/ or give us a call right away at 602.622.2008.