We have been experiencing a surge in divorce inquiries. Just about everyone has been ordered into quarantine, and living in such close proximity is taking a toll on some marriages and relationships. But there’s another reason: simple divorce planning. Also, for fans of ‘The Office’, Jim has “Some Good News” for us during the coronavirus.
Divorce Planning and Market Timing
For many, the divorce inquiries are taking place while the market has dropped and people are losing their jobs. If that sounds counter-intuitive, consider this: when you divorce and your assets are worth less and your debts are up, you may pay less, so now may be a great time to divorce . . . if that was your plan.
This opportunity to divorce is particularly attractive to those whose divorce was a matter of timing. Now may be a great opportunity to finalize a settlement agreement if businesses or shares of stock can be managed back to their former value after the crisis passes.
For others, the concern is about settlement terms they agreed to before the downturn and their ability to afford the settlement terms when they have less pay. Clients are viewing the current financial crisis as an opportunity to negotiate an advantageous divorce settlement.
In only days, we have increased calls from anxious and stressed clients who are confined to living in quarantine with their soon-to-be Ex and children who they have to home school.
Shelter in place orders are putting a huge strain on relationships, particularly if there was already tension and issues between couples. This is only being heightened by the financial impact of restrictions on people’s businesses and incomes and the uncertainty they face as a result.
Florida Divorce Planning during the Coronavirus
I have written about the phenomenon of divorce planning, and especially divorce filings at the beginning of the year, many times before.
The first few months of the year are known for divorce filings, January is even nicknamed the “Divorce Month” in Florida. Researchers recently did an analysis of American divorce filings and found that there is a spike in divorces in January.
The spike in divorce filings is followed by a peak in late March. What’s happening at the beginning of the new year that causes people to both marry and divorce?
According to some reports the beginning of the year and the holiday season are often a tricky time for couples whose relationships have been under pressure for a while.
Add in the intense time spent together, financial pressure, extended family critiques and unrealistic expectations (nothing worse than happy people’s Facebook posts) – and it can spell disaster for some relationships.
Planning Ahead for Divorce during the Coronavirus
For many couples, government shelter-in-place orders have thrown them into a completely different way of living, changing the dynamics of their relationship entirely, and introducing a whole new set of complications and concerns.
While some may find that working through the uncertainty brings them closer together, others are not as lucky, and have been forced to face underlying issues that may have been bubbling under the surface.
You should consider consulting a board certified marital and family lawyer to consider your options and discuss what to do while you’re in quarantine and once the crisis passes.
The vast majority of people inquiring are people who were already on the fence and thinking of filing for divorce, and now the harsh reality of being at home with their partners has pushed them to breaking point.
For those that were planning to leave, but now can’t, this is an extremely challenging time. There are also those who agreed to separate but haven’t yet done so or filed for divorce. Worse still, being locked down together is causing a lot of strain and pressure.
Some have stayed married due to the financial loss they would suffer if they broke up the family, but are seeing the financial crisis as their long-awaited opportunity to leave and take advantage of the dip in wealth for a divorce settlement,’ she explained.
Coronavirus: Some Good News
Fans of ‘The Office’ will be please that there is some good news to report from Jim. So, I’ll let actor John Krasinski talk about some good news on his home-made channel SGN.
His video is here, and includes an interview with Steve Carell to mark the 15th anniversary of ‘The Office.’