During the difficult days of the COVID-19 pandemic, some married couples are contemplating whether to stay together or split. The number of divorce cases typically rises during times when people spend more time together than usual (holidays or summer breaks).
At a time of quarantines and stay-at-home orders, many couples are no doubt spending more time together and reflecting on their relationships. Some couples or individuals in relationships will decide it’s time to seek a divorce.
A divorce is without question a significant life event. Whether it’s a couple or an individual filing for divorce, it’s critical to move through the process carefully and with thoughtful consideration. This is especially true during the coronavirus emergency.
Five tips to consider if considering divorce
To protect yourself before proceeding with a divorce, we invite you to consider the following five tips:
- Ask for advice about an attorney: You will need to speak with an experienced divorce attorney. You can start by asking friends for help. They may be able to recommend a lawyer who is experienced in family and divorce law. Set up appointments after you have gathered some names. Most attorneys, including the Illinois divorce lawyers at Courtney Clark Law P.C., offer remote consultations during the pandemic. They will talk to you on the phone or through video conferencing. Since many court proceedings have been suspended because courts have closed, attorneys have more flexible times to meet for consultations. The consultation will give you information you need to decide the best way to move forward.
- Compile your financial documents: You can make printouts of tax returns and other documents with income information. In a divorce proceeding, you will need to share with your attorney your finances, including retirement accounts and investments, outstanding loans, property appraisals and other important financial details. You may want to consider contacting your financial advisor, who can assist with gathering information. Given the uncertainty surrounding the economy, you may change your mind about pursuing a divorce after poring over your financial records.
- Create a plan of action: There are options to consider in getting a divorce. You may want to pursue mediation or arbitration, which can be conducted through video conferencing. You and your spouse may want to work together with your lawyers to craft an overall settlement agreement.
- Stay calm: Staying at home can test the strongest relationships. If you’re in an unhappy marriage, the confinement may lead to angry outbursts. Keep in mind that angry words typed into an email or text message can be used against you during the divorce proceedings. A violent incident can lead to a criminal charge or restraining order. Try your best to keep a cool head. Take a walk outside to get fresh air or find other ways to calm down.
- Put your children first: If you have children, they will need you as a parent. For their sake, keep them insulated from your marital problems. Whether you split from your spouse or decide to reconcile, they will need you both as parents.
How a divorce attorney can help
Pursuing a divorce can be difficult anytime. It’s extremely challenging during these difficult days of the COVID-19 emergency.
We hope the five tips we offer can make your process a little smoother as you move forward.
Contact the Illinois divorce attorneys at Courtney Clark Law P.C. for a consultation.