Top Things to Know About Getting Divorced During a Pandemic
Are you considering divorce? You are not alone. Many married couples that were having relationship difficulties prior to the pandemic are considering the possibility of separation, and for some couples, the pandemic brought out issues in the marriage that the spouses did not realize existed—or at least did not acknowledge in a meaningful way—prior to the stay-at-home orders and work-from-home requirements. Indeed, there are many spouses who are thinking about filing for divorce during the pandemic. According to a recent article in Financial Advisor, there are some important things to know about filing for divorce during a pandemic, particularly for women. The following are some of the top things to know about getting divorced during a public health emergency.
Women May Experience More Pronounced Financial Losses
While it can certainly be true that spouses will experience financial losses after a divorce regardless of gender, it tends to take more time for women to bounce back financially from divorce due to long standing economic disparities and biases in pay. The article underscores that “women have disproportionate losses in household income and assets,” which “increases their risk of poverty and single parenting.” The article explains the difference like this: “For men, divorce is an economic pothole,” but “for women, it can be a cliff.”
During a pandemic, economic losses can be particularly pronounced. If you or your spouse recently lost a job or experienced a furlough due to the COVID-19 emergency and the close of non-essential businesses, you may have fewer financial assets at your disposal than you would have prior to the pandemic.
Consider the Stock Market
If you have substantial marital assets that are tied to the stock market, such as investments or retirement accounts, filing for a divorce during a pandemic might not be smart, especially if you may be entitled to fewer of the marital assets. It is often better to wait until incomes have returned to normal and the stock market has bounced back.
Be Certain That the Circumstances of COVID-19 Are Not Driving Your Divorce
For many people who are considering divorcing during a pandemic, it is important to make sure that the marriage is truly broken. In other words, you should be asking yourself: will things feel differently when the pandemic is over? Global health pandemics can bring substantial stress to anybody, and pandemic-related stress and anxiety can be particularly evident when both spouses are working remotely in small spaces, or when they are dealing with a lack of childcare and remote schooling for their children.
The Financial Advisor article highlights that “things are not normal right now, and nothing during this time should be used as an indicator of the rest of your life.” If making a marriage therapy appointment (virtually) could help you and your spouse, you might want to reconsider an immediate divorce filing. Similarly, if you believe that a true “return to normal”—meaning a full and complete return to in-person work when the virus no longer poses a substantial risk, or when children return to school and childcare centers open full time—would change the situation, it might not be the best time to file for divorce.
Contact an Orlando Divorce Attorney
Making the decision to file for divorce can be difficult, but one of our Orlando divorce attorneys can assist you. Contact Anderson & Ferrin today for more information.