Tag: Divorce Alcohol

Trapped in a Quarantine Means a Baby Boom or Divorce Boom, and There’s More Good News about the Coronavirus

If you’re feeling trapped, you’re not alone. The forced quarantines and shelter-in-place orders mean couples are spending a lot of time together . . . +maybe too much. That could mean another baby boom, or if China is an example, divorce boom. Plus, there is more good news about the Coronavirus.

Coronavirus Divorce Baby Boom

Birth of the “Coronials”

As reported in the Chicago Tribune, Sarah Bradburn’s coronavirus shopping list consists of two very important items: condoms and toilet paper.

“We are all emotional and clinging to our spouses. But when we’re stressed, we just become closer.”

During the first few surreal days of the coronavirus scare, there were predictions far and wide of a huge number of corona babies that would be born in nine months. Maybe they’ll be described as “coronials?”

In fact, Lori Sapio, a Chicago photographer, plans to post a CV19 newborn special in April similar to her Cubs newborn special that she announced after the team won the World Series. But is it really coming? Or will the social distancing and forced time together cause more divorces than babies?

In China — where the coronavirus hit long before it arrived here — the divorce rates rose, and couples formed a line outside a divorce registration office as soon as they were out of quarantine.

The Coronavirus and Divorce

I’ve written about the coronavirus and divorce before. Forced together due to a shelter-in-place order may be the reason for your divorce, but legally you don’t need one. That’s because Florida is a no-fault divorce state.

Florida abolished fault as grounds for filing a divorce. Gone are the days when you had to prove adultery, desertion or annoying behavior in a government enforced quarantine.

The only ground you need to file for divorce in Florida is to prove your marriage is “irretrievably broken.” Additionally, the mental incapacity of one of the parties, where the party was adjudged incapacitated for the prior three year, is another avenue.

What do you do if you are trapped in quarantine with someone you want to separate from?

To avoid problems during a quarantine, you may have to force yourself to work together – however difficult that may be.

Couples who are separating or separated already, and are parents, are being forced to work as a team and talk through problems that are making forced quarantine impossible. Reassure each other that you will make it through and work together.

The key if you’re living together is to strike the right balance between having quality intimate time together, or if you’re at the brink of your relationship, giving each other some space.

Good Coronavirus News

Some good news for all of us. The U.S. Senate passed the largest economic relief bill in American history Wednesday night. By a vote of 96-0, the bill gives help to big and small businesses, health care facilities, and folks who lost their jobs due to the coronavirus.

Some key provisions:

Stimulus to the Economy: The bill will pump some $2 trillion into the economy.

Direct payout to Americans: The bill would give one-time direct payments to Americans — $1,200 per adult making up to $75,000 a year, and $2,400 to a married couple making up to $150,000, with $500 payments per child.

There is a phase-out for individuals who made more than $75,000, or married couples who filed jointly who made $150,000.

The checks will be directly deposited into bank accounts if you included direct deposit information on your tax form. If you did not, your check will be mailed to you.

Unemployment insurance help: Additional unemployment insurance benefits will be bolstered for four months by increasing the maximum unemployment benefit that a state gives to a person by $600 per week.

Funds for hospitals, equipment: The bill will provide $150 billion for hospitals treating coronavirus patients. Of the $150 billion, $100 billion will go to hospitals and $1 billion will go to the Indian Health Service. The other $49 billion will be used to increase medical equipment capacity.

Aid to state and local governments: Around $150 billion will be allocated for state and local governments to pay for the cost of fighting the virus and providing services to those who have the virus.

The Chicago Tribune article is here.


Family Courtroom Behavior

It’s been said that criminal court judges see the worst people acting their best, and family court judges see the best people acting their worst. That old adage comes to mind reading about the antics in the divorce of Formula One billionaire heiress Petra Ecclestone from her husband James Stunt.

A Wild Divorce Hearing

Ecclestone and Stunt have each hired some of England’s most high-profile divorce lawyers to represent them in court hearings, which are expected to start next month.

Their £158 million mansion in Los Angeles and a Grade II-listed house in the fashionable London district of Chelsea – worth up to £100 million – are expected to just some of the assets fought over.

As the Daily Mail reports, extraordinary details of their bitter marriage were laid bare during a highly-charged court hearing yesterday. The businessman, who runs an international gold bullion firm, was yesterday accused of behaving in a ‘disgraceful’ and ‘unedifying’ way prior to the hearing.

The bad-tempered hearing boiled over when Mr. Stunt, 35, slammed his hand onto a table and appeared to make a ‘gun gesture’ with his hand.

He then pointed at Mr. Ecclestone before calling him a ‘c***’ under his breath. Stunt then tapped him on the shoulder and stormed out of the court room.

Mr. Ecclestone stood up as if to confront him and started to follow him before the judge intervened. Recorder Richard Anelay QC: ‘Please Mr. Ecclestone, don’t respond. I know it’s tempting. For the record I saw [Mr. Stunt] clearly tap Mr. Ecclestone on the shoulder.

‘I think my intervention prevented rather actually prevented Mr. Ecclestone from wanting to retaliate. ‘Don’t carry it on outside please, it will not help you in the long run.’

Courtroom Behavior

I’ve written about courtroom behavior before. As a couple of good rules of thumb to follow:

  • Don’t – come to a custody hearing wearing your Nazi uniform – complete with swastika patch on the arm and leather boots – and demand a family court judge let you see your son.
  • Do – Dress in a neat and professional manner.
  • Don’t – Speak on your cellular telephone because judges hate ringing cell phones. Judges hate ringing phone so much, that U.S. District Judge Hugh B. Clarke Jr. fined himself $50 when his own cell phone started ringing during a hearing.
  • Do – Keep your cell phone ringer off, and if you absolutely need to have your phone on, put it on vibrate.
  • Don’t – Take off your pants and show the judge your rear end. Try not to make faces or gestures, don’t show your anger or disdain for the other side or the court.
  • Do – Keep a “poker” face when others are talking, and be clear and confident and in a loud clear voice when you are talking.

Yes, sadly these are cases of what people have actually done in court, and all of these instances are documented. Consider the solemnity of the courtroom, the stress family cases have on everyone, and show some respect to the judges and others in the courtroom who deal with these cases on a daily basis.

Back to the London Hearing

With those rules of thumb, consider some of the antics at the Ecclestone v. Stunt hearing. During the hour-long hearing, Mr. Stunt repeatedly laughed, scoffed, panted, sighed and raised his hands in the air as lawyers gave their submissions.

At one point the judge asked him to stop gesticulating because it was ‘very distracting’.

The husband, who was sporting a wedding band, smirked as he raised his middle finger towards photographers outside the court building.

The Daily Mail article is here.


Divorce and Alcohol: Can Drinking Save Your Marriage?

On behalf of Ronald H. Kauffman, P.A. posted in Divorce on Thursday, December 5, 2013.

It sounds like I’ve asked a ridiculous question. After all, published research suggests a correlation that the more you drink the more likely you are to get divorce. However, researchers at the University at Buffalo have put a new spin on the old notion that drinking and marriages do not mix.

Scientists at the University of Buffalo’s Research Institute on Addictions (RIA) followed 634 couples from the time of their weddings through the first nine years of marriage. What the researchers found was that couples where only one spouse was a heavy drinker had a much higher divorce rate than other couples.

However when both spouses were heavy drinkers, the divorce rate was the same as for couples who were not heavy drinkers at all. And that’s the surprising outcome:

50% of couples in which one partner was imbibing significantly more than their spouse ended up divorcing. However, that number dropped to 30% for couples who possessed similar drinking habits, regardless of if they were heavy or light drinkers.

The researchers also found that there was a higher divorce rate when the heavy drinker was the wife, rather than the husband. However, this statistical difference was not significant.

What researchers have concluded is that heavy drinking spouses may be more tolerant of negative experiences related to alcohol due to their own drinking habits.

Our results indicate that it is the difference between the couple’s drinking habits, rather than the drinking itself, that leads to marital dissatisfaction, separation and divorce said Kenneth Leonard, PhD, RIA director and lead author of the study.

Make no mistake, heavy drinking can ruin your life. From a divorce perspective, it is interesting that divorce rates are worst for marriages in which one spouse drinks heavy and the other does not. The research may mean that differing behavior is to blame, not alcohol.

This study makes sense. When couples don’t see eye-to-eye on something, they may be incompatible on other issues. But spouses who drink similar amounts may have similar views on drinking, may spend more time together, and probably don’t fight as much as those who have different drinking habits.

The report from the University of Buffalo can be read here.