COVID Confinement and its Impact on Divorce Decisions

Q: How is the coronavirus impacting couples’ decisions to divorce?

You don’t have to be a Phoenix divorce attorney to realize that the many stressors associated with the coronavirus could have a detrimental effect on even the strongest marriage. 

For those whose marriages had been on shaky ground beforehand, being quarantined together for months likely brought them closer to a decision– one way or the other. For some, the forced isolation may have caused them to stop and examine their priorities, work through their issues, and may even have rekindled their old flame. For others, the physical confinement of lockdown and fear of an uncertain future may have amplified their feelings of imprisonment in their failing marriage and confirmed their desire to get a divorce.

Should you get divorced during a lockdown?

Factors to consider when deciding if getting divorced during a lockdown is wise include:

  • the ability to live separate and apart during a lockdown
  • how child custody would be impacted
  • financial and job security issues – – especially for the less financially secure partner 
  • court closures and/or backlogs related to the lockdown—which are expected to delay traditional divorce proceedings. 

Are there other options besides traditional divorce?

Depending on your circumstances, counseling may benefit couples interested in trying to save their marriage. 

If counseling fails or is not an option, couples might consider a legal separation as a resolution or as a stepping stone to an eventual divorce. 

Legal separation may be an attractive option to couples who want to separate but for other reasons – – such as religious beliefs, tax benefits, or healthcare coverage – – prefer to remain legally married.

Divorce mediation is another option for parties that can communicate openly and work together to settle issues such as the division of marital assets, child custody, visitation, and support.

If you are considering getting divorced in Arizona, or have been served with divorce papers, Cohen Family Law can help you. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

From our office in Phoenix, we represent clients throughout Arizona and routinely handle all aspects of family law. We are well-versed in conflict resolution whether through mediation, arbitration, or when necessary, litigation and offer our clients compassionate support while navigating life’s challenges and transitions.