The novel coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) pandemic has impacted all aspects of our normal lives. The quarantine or shelter in place orders mandated by government officials may be effective in stunting the spread of the coronavirus, but there is no doubt that it will wreak havoc on relationships, especially marriages.
In fact, divorce attorneys are predicting a wave of divorce filings across the
country when the COVID-19 confinement ends. According to an ABC News article, some attorneys are already fielding calls right now from married couples who are tired of being in the same house with each other.
Reasons for Spike Divorce Filings
Tension bred by forced proximity is only one reason cited for a likely spike in divorce after the coronavirus crisis. Some are noting that the reason for mass divorce filings may also be due to the fact that people are coming to terms with their mortality and want to make positive changes in their lives.
Financial stress combined with confinement is also pushing some marriages to their breaking point. When one or both spouses are laid off and they are stuck at home with their kids, tensions will run high. Combine this with fear and the inability to pay bills or pay for necessities and it can be the perfect recipe for a failed marriage.
Forecasts of a divorce spike are based on attorneys reporting a surge in inquiries plus a rise in filings where electronic submissions are allowed. However, the exact numbers and actual divorce filings won’t be certain until the quarantine orders have been lifted and married couples can actually start to file divorce papers.
What To Do If You Are Planning to File For Divorce
If you already know that your marriage has come to an end and filing for divorce is inevitable, it is important to think about doing the five important things discussed below:
- Understand the extent of your marital estate, which is typically comprised of the assets and debts you and your spouse have acquired during marriage.
- Gather important financial documents such as deeds to community real property, tax returns, loan documents and retirement accounts.
- If you have minor children, think about what you want and expect with regarding to child custody and support.
- Avoid posting anything on your social media which can haunt you during the divorce process.
- Plan head financially – especially if you were not the breadwinner during your marriage.
Call an Experienced Central Valley Divorce Attorney
If you are involved in a divorce proceeding or planning to file for divorce, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced family law attorney to help you learn your legal rights and options with respect to the division of your assets.