2020 was a rough year for most of us and for many people in committed partnerships and marriages, a serious make it or break it year. People who live together are spending more time together than ever before and to complicate things, collective anxiety is at an all-time high.
If your marriage is on the rocks and you are seriously considering divorce, you’re probably wondering how to go about separating and moving forward in the midst of the new social distancing normal. TruNorth Divorce is here to offer some guidance around a few questions you may be asking yourself because of the unique considerations divorce in Pennsylvania during Covid-19 has created.
Should I divorce during a pandemic?
No one should stay in a marriage that they are unhappy in. If you’ve decided that things between you and your spouse are irreconcilable and you’re emotionally ready to begin the separation process, don’t let the pandemic stop you from pursuing a happier life.
Are my local courts operating at normal capacity?
Local courts can process your divorce if you have a signed settlement agreement. For contested matters that aren’t resolved outside of court, many local courts are attempting to keep up with phone and video conferences but, currently, in-person conferences, hearings, and trials are backlogged for six months or more. This has made divorce processes like mediation and represented negotiation all the more attractive.
If you’re looking for the silver lining, the good news is that widespread use of video conferencing is improving the court process by cutting down on wasted time getting to and from the courthouse. Video conferencing has improved mediations, too. Not only has Zoom made them more convenient, but remote mediation also has the added benefits of allowing couples to work with the best mediator for them even if not geographically local and to meet with their mediator while the couple is in separate locations.
Will I have an issue finding a mediator or lawyer?
Most mediators and lawyers are still working remotely through the pandemic. Choosing council to represent you or a mediator to help facilitate the divorce process will be much like it was pre-pandemic. The only caveat is that most—if not all—of your meetings will be held remotely.
How will the pandemic influence the emotional aspect of divorce?
The act of divorce is often an extremely emotional experience for both parties involved and is purported to be one of the biggest stressors an individual can experience in their life. Slap that on top of pandemic anxiety and forced isolation, and you’ve got the proper fixings for an emotional meltdown. The pandemic has made divorce harder on children, too, with challenges to readily spending time with both parents and not being able to easily connect with their friends.
Remember that you aren’t alone in this. Enlist professional and personal support, even if it’s not physically present. One great source of support is Vesta Divorce, which provides diverse education and connection to networks of vetted divorce experts across the country to address a variety of legal, emotional, and financial needs.
Divorce is never easy, but getting a divorce in Pennsylvania during COVID is possible with the right support.
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