Getting divorced is very stressful. Getting divorced during a pandemic is even more stressful. Courts have been closed. Business and schools have been impacted. Your job may have been affected. You want to move forward with your life, but it seems like so many things are out of your control. What can you do?
You can focus on the things that you can control.
Even though everything seems so unsettled, the process of divorce is still the same. Working through these steps can help you get through your divorce as smoothly as possible.
Research your options.
There are different processes for getting divorced. Finding the right one for your situation depends on the complexity of your situation and how well you and your spouse are able to communicate. Both sides may be able to work things out through mediation or a collaborative process. In other cases, attorneys can work on structuring a settlement. If those options aren’t realistic, litigation may be necessary.
Interview and assemble your team.
You will need an attorney who has experience in family law. Be sure to meet with an attorney first to talk about preferred approaches and to make sure you get a lawyer who is responsive to your wishes and needs. Other professionals you may need include a financial professional who specializes in divorce, and a counselor or coach to deal with emotional and behavioral difficulties that can come up.
Gather financial information.
A divorce means financial decisions will need to be made. You will need to provide information about your income, assets and liabilities. Gather information, such as pay statements, bank and investment accounts, retirement plans, tax returns and real estate holdings. Much of this work can be done online.
Set up a budget.
It’s important to understand how much income you will need after your divorce and what your financial obligations will be. Start by examining what you are spending money on now. Look at checking account transactions and credit card bills. Take a close look at how much you spend on groceries, gas, childcare, eating out, etc.
Review living arrangements.
If you need to move, consider what options are available that fit your budget. If you are buying a house, consider how much space you will need and the areas where you want to live.
Discuss a parenting plan.
Creating a parenting plan that works for everyone involved is always difficult. It is even more challenging in a pandemic. You will need to consider living arrangements, travel and schooling.
Talk about logistics.
During the pandemic, you may need to hold some meetings via video or phone. This has its own challenges, as privacy may be an issue, especially if there are children.
At Hocker & Associates, LLC, our experienced divorce attorneys understand the challenges of getting divorced in the age of COVID-19. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. We can talk about your options and give you the information you need to help you decide the best way to move forward. If you are not comfortable coming into our office, we can talk to you by phone, email or Skype.