The coronavirus pandemic has drastically changed life for many, creating new challenges for daily existence.
Stay-at-home orders, changes to work and childcare schedules, and other unanticipated changes have been especially challenging for those dealing with divorce or the potential for one.
Whether your divorce is in process or you just have some concerns about your situation and getting through these crazy times, here’s some divorce help that should answer a lot of common questions that divorce lawyers are fielding today.
With these answers, those of you dealing with uncertain circumstances can hopefully get through to the other side of social isolation with fewer worries.
Co-Parenting During the COVID-19 Crisis
The most common divorce advice question that lawyers are getting asked during this period of social isolation, when schools are closed with some parents working at home and others working in an essential job, is what to do about visitation and adhering to custody orders.
This is the easiest of all the questions to answer because nothing has changed.
All current custody orders remain in effect and all visitation schedules should still be followed so children can see both their parents.
If difficulties over scheduling arise or there is concern of potential exposure in certain households, parents are requested by the family court to be considerate of each other and try to work it out.
If you can’t work it out, then contact your attorney to discuss mediation or arrange if necessary for an official modification to your custody orders.
Divorce Filing And Processes During Social Isolation and Closures
Although county courts are closed for all but pressing issues and most law offices are closed to protect both staff and clients, divorce lawyers are still helping their clients with cases in process via remote options such as email, fax, and video conference in lieu of clients coming to their offices.
Attorneys are still taking new requests for divorce filing as they can get started on some of the preparatory steps involved in filing, then working out all the details.
The most important factor in both cases is to find some privacy to communicate with your attorney to keep the process moving forward if still sharing your home with your soon-to-be ex-spouse.
Discuss personal space and allowing each other some alone time, then use your time wisely to work with your lawyer as needed to get things done.
If your spouse has already been served, use the time to start discussing separation details, dividing up property, child care, and custody issues as long as it does not result in flared tempers in closed spaces.
Handling Divorce Uncertainties During Stay-at-Home Confinement
Whether you’re in the process of divorce or on the verge of one, confinement could become a major issue if you don’t take steps to control the stress.
The best divorce advice in this circumstance is stay busy and communicate with each other or friends and family who can help calm your stress; if you need professional counseling, seek it online.
Practice self-care, engage in a hobby or pleasurable activity, and separate yourself from stressors within the home as much as possible.
It may help to create a home schedule between you and your spouse for handling chores, assigning alone time in certain parts of the home, and other potential.
Unless it's too stressful to do so, you can also discuss plans to either seek counseling together to save the marriage or decide on how to go about ending it.
Stay Informed and Stay Calm During COVID-19
In this difficult time when some marriages simply will not last, it’s more important than ever to get through stay-at-home orders as calmly as possible.
Do your best to compromise with your spouse on issues like co-parenting and child care and work together to reduce marital stress, even if there’s no way to avoid a divorce.
If you’ve decided that filing for divorce is the best option or simply need some assistance such as a referral for counseling or a mediator, reach out to your divorce lawyer.
Though we may not be able to meet with you face-to-face, we are still here with divorce help and ready to assist you when divorce questions or concerns come up!
Schreier & Housewirth Family Law
1329 College Avenue, Suite 100
Fort Worth TX 76104
Gregory L. Housewirth is a Board-Certified Family Law Specialist practicing in Fort Worth Texas. With 30 years of family law experience, Mr. Housewirth has represented hundreds of clients in divorce, custody, CPS, modification, and grandparent cases. In addition, Mr. Housewirth is a qualified family law mediator and a member of Collaborative Law Texas, a practice group dedicated to promoting collaborative divorce in Texas.