COVID-19 has had a major impact on both the number of couples seeking divorce and on the process in Monmouth County courts.
COVID-19 has impacted every area of our lives. It has changed how we work, go to school, shop, travel, and enjoy family or social activities, while permanently altering some of our relationships. The circumstances and the stress surrounding the situation have taken a toll on couples, causing many to consider a separation or divorce. In addition to increasing the odds of divorce, the pandemic has brought about some changes in the overall process, as well.
How Stress from the Pandemic Increases the Odds of Divorce
Between changing routines, health concerns, income fluctuations, general worries over family members, and having to assume greater responsibility for educating children, couples today are under enormous stress. Early on in the pandemic, many rallied together and were ready to make whatever sacrifices were needed. As the year comes to a close, fatigue and weariness have set in, making them more likely to consider divorce.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), this is to be expected. Researchers have identified various phases of disasters that generally dictate how people react. These include:
- The heroic phase, in which people are likely to show courage and determination in the face of difficulty;
- The honeymoon phase, in which they may experience a greater sense of bonding;
- The disillusionment phase, in which the reality of the situation sets in;
- The reconstruction phase, in which people focus on grieving their losses and rebuilding their lives.
In terms of COVID-19, we are currently in the disillusionment phase. This is the time most likely for couples to consider filing for divorce.
Getting a Divorce During the COVID-19 Pandemic
In addition to increasing the odds of a divorce, the current situation surrounding the pandemic is also having a major influence on divorce proceedings. Social distancing measures adopted by the Monmouth County divorce court have resulted in modest changes in terms of filing a divorce petition and scheduling hearings. COVID-19 also has the potential to impact determinations typically made during a divorce:
- Division of marital property and debts: Many couples are at risk of losing their homes and have wracked up considerable debts due to pandemic-related job losses.
- Spousal support: Whereas one of the parties may have previously met the requirements for being awarded spousal support, reductions in income could make this a less viable option.
- Child custody: Concerns about social distancing can have major impacts on child time-sharing and parenting plans.
- Child support: Cases in which parents are unable to pay court-ordered support are increasingly common.
Our Monmouth County Divorce Attorneys are Here to Help
The situation surrounding COVID-19 does not mean you have to remain in an unhappy marriage or settle for less than what you are entitled to in a divorce settlement. At Lomurro Law, we protect your rights and provide the trusted legal representation you need during these difficult times. To request a confidential consultation, call or contact our Monmouth County, NJ divorce attorneys online today.