The COVID-19 pandemic has been stressful for everyone. But the additional anxiety of dealing with a global health emergency has put a lot of couples on edge. Some who were perfectly content in their routines are now having second thoughts. And couples with existing problems find that those issues have been exacerbated.
While 2020 might be the year of the pandemic, the following ones might be known for a high level of separations and divorces. If you are thinking about separating from your spouse or filing for divorce during COVID-19, there are several things to consider.
How COVID-19 Can Affect Your Relationships
COVID-19 originated in China, and Bloomberg reported a spike in divorces in that country in March, just weeks after the government forced lockdowns in certain cities. Even in the U.S., January is traditionally known as “divorce month” since it is the time after couples have spent an extended period together over the holidays.
This pandemic has been understandably tough on relationships. People who typically leave the home for work, and have outside interests and friends, have been forced to remain indoors for weeks or months on end. Many companies are forcing employees to work from home, whether they want to or not, which can send tensions sky-high.
Many couples are reconsidering how they feel about their partners in the midst of this health crisis. In addition to the stresses of quarantine are issues like boredom, lack of escape from each other, money troubles, and conflicts over children and household duties.
Financial Challenges During a Pandemic
Another challenge that couples are facing during the pandemic is financial in nature. When one or both spouses lose their income, the results can be catastrophic.
Even though housing prices have remained steady this year, unemployment has reached record levels. In some cases, couples might choose to postpone a divorce due to finances, since it costs more to support two households. If waiting isn’t an option, you may need to revise your expectations about asset division and potential support.
When Kids Are Involved in a Stressed Marriage
Not being able to take a break from your kids can also put significant stress on your marriage. Even though dealing with issues like a lack of daycare or distance learning can be challenging, it’s important for parents to consider the wellbeing of their children as well as the alternative.
If you decide to divorce in the middle of COVID-19, many of those issues will remain. In fact, you’ll have to negotiate a child custody and support agreement with your ex and continue to work together to care for and financially support your children.
If you’re sure you want to live apart from your spouse or get a divorce during COVID-19, it makes sense to discuss your options with an experienced Washington family law attorney. This is particularly important if you have small children or wish to protect assets.
At AB Law, we focus on helping clients in the Tacoma, Washington area find solutions to their family law issues. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.