A divorce can be one of the most difficult experiences in life. Going through a marital breakup during the COVID pandemic is even more challenging and, of course, more stressful. Whether the divorce or separation was already in progress earlier this year, or whether the decision was made since that time, there are certain things you should know.
We expect an increase in the volume of divorce cases, as COVID takes its toll on couples and their families. Being confined together for extended periods, home-schooling, stress over job loss, financial issues, an increase in domestic violence, and even boredom are expected to lead, to the extent they haven’t already, to ever-increasing numbers of divorce petitions being filed, not only in Harris County, but throughout Texas and the entire country.
COVID restrictions have also put a strain on the court system in Houston. This does not mean that the courts have ceased operating or that cases are completely stalled. Virtual hearings via Zoom have become commonplace, including those in Family Court. On the other hand, it often takes longer during the pandemic – especially in civil cases – to have issues decided by a judge. The lesson here is that the more you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse/partner can agree on the details of the divorce, the faster your case will proceed. If you are constantly running to the court for decisions over every minor aspect of the case, you can expect that to further delay its conclusion. This is just one of the areas where a family law attorney can help you through the rough spots.
In addition, couples who are in the process of (or contemplating) divorce and/or separation may be in a position where they either cannot or choose not to physically separate in the interim. This may be the result of financial setbacks which preclude maintaining separate residences for the couple. Or it may simply be that between homeschooling, as well as fear of contact with those outside the family unit, the couple choose – or are effectively forced – to live under the same roof until the COVID risks decrease, the economy rebounds, or other related issues can be resolved.
These are just of few of the potential challenges facing couples who are considering divorce at this time. To find out more about your rights in a divorce case and how to deal with the situation during COVID, call our office to schedule a consultation with an experienced Houston divorce lawyer.
Law Office of Mary Quinn
106 Avondale St.
Houston, TX 77006