Divorce During Quarantine: Insight From a Divorce Attorney in Belleville, IL

Coronavirus presents new challenges for couples going through a divorce.It is May, 2020. New COVID-19 cases show no signs of slowing, and in the meantime the United States is, for the most part, shut down. Courthouses are closed, families are confined to their homes, and tensions are rising. With the prolonged quarantine, these tensions can exacerbate previously existing conflicts within your marriage, pulling the need for a divorce in Illinois to the surface.  Unfortunately, in these uncertain times approaching a divorce can seem especially complicated. In this article the Law Office of Wilson Dabler & Associates LLC of Belleville, Illinois provide insight into keeping track of what is important in the divorce process, and what factors might be worth considering while making your divorce plan or petition for dissolution.

1. Be Kind to Your Children 

First and foremost, keeping sight of what is best for the children (if involved) is of the utmost importance. Although the conflict between you and your spouse might be complicated, for your child or children, it is simply living with conflict. Children are very affected by their parents behavior; if conflict and arguments are common around the household your children will certainly be impacted.

Adding in the pressure and close quarters of quarantine, things could get ugly. If children are involved, it is important that they can feel safe and at peace in their home. Remember: they are going through a tough time as well. Although you and your spouse might have a difficult time getting along, try forming some kind of peace treaty to get through these trying times. It’s a hard pill to swallow but coming to a compromise can save your children from seeing too much, and suffering the affects. Make a point to focus on de-escalation of conflicts; you might not be a team for each other, but you can be a team for your children. For especially problematic conversations, try to schedule a time you can talk it out with each other promptly, rather than dragging a messy argument out.

2. Accounting for Assets 

No thanks to the Coronavirus you have less options to fill your time, unable to play racquetball with friends or participate in your usual Tuesday book club. Although the lack of options has left many people feeling trapped and restless, there is a silver lining: newly found free time. It is important to make the most of it.

One of the most tedious parts of a divorce can be dividing assets. Apply some of the extra time you have towards working on a system of accounting for your assets. Keep track of your spending receipts during Coronavirus, analyze your past purchases, put together a property division checklist, and record everything. By having an itemized asset list, you will be much better prepared to move your divorce forward when the courthouses open. If you are up for the challenge, have your soon-to-be-ex do the same. This gives you an opportunity to address conflicting ideas of what belongs to whom before you make it to the courthouse. The key to this? Remain civil. It is important to keep in mind that with no clear end to the quarantine in sight, you’ll likely be stuck where you’re at for awhile. There’s no sense in making a hard time harder than it has to be on yourselves.

3. Adjustments in Income  

Another point of interest for your divorce is the matter of income. If COVID-19 has left you without work, it can hinder your pursuit of newly found independence. Questions like “How can I move on without a job?” or “How will I take care of the children?” get in the way of what you know needs to happen. Take some time to freshen up your resume’ and seek out new opportunities. Read some of our articles about how child custody and child support works. If you have any questions or find something confusing, you can reach out to a family law attorney in Belleville, IL. By keeping some irons in the fire now while you have the time to do so, you’ll be better prepared for divorce when the time comes for a court hearing.

4. Domestic Relations

With so much uninterrupted time with your spouse, it can be hard to keep the peace. If you’re feeling irritated, stressed or even livid after spending a couple months at home with each other: don’t worry, you’re not alone. Across the globe, cities are noticing an increase in the divorce rate. Although the data is still being researched for conclusiveness, it’s no surprise that too much time with a spouse in a rocky relationship could lead to filing for divorce.

While you wait for the courthouses to open, make it easier on yourself by finding a way to reduce your stress levels. If you already have a hobby, dive in: build the model plane of your dreams, finish your Beanie Baby collection, write 1000 words a day. If you don’t have a hobby, now is the time to get one! Finding a new healthy outlet can be very gratifying. From running, to painting, to writing, there is plenty of options that are more fun than stewing on your marriage and can help generate a positive attitude.

5. Illinois Divorce Attorney Availability 

Lastly, but still important is addressing what continuing with divorce plans during a quarantine even looks like. Every divorce, like every marriage, is unique and it doesn’t hurt to check in to discuss your progress and strategy. Even if the courthouses are closed, attorneys are still working. Contact your divorce lawyer Making use of Zoom, email, phone calls and texts, divorce attorneys in Illinois and across the country are still providing their services. Though they must skip the handshakes for now, divorce attorneys are still dedicated to their clients. At Wilson Dabler & Associates LLC, we have found great success in serving Belleville through video-chat, email and phone calls.  Using these tools has allowed us to continue making progress towards finalizing divorces in St. Clair County.

At the end of the day remember: this quarantine is temporary. This too shall pass, and soon the world will be back to some semblance of normalcy, and so will your life. Take this time to work on covering all your bases so you can hit the ground running when the time is right. Additionally, don’t let this challenging time put you at a disadvantage later in your divorce. Losing your cool is not only unpleasant, but can be detrimental to your overall grounds for divorce. Stay in contact with a divorce lawyer; Belleville, IL fortunately has some of the best in the state of Illinois. Our professional perspective can help focus your efforts towards the best use of your time.