The COVID-19 pandemic has not only sickened and killed thousands of people here in NJ, it has created a mental health crisis because people have been largely trapped in their homes for going on three months now. This stay-at-home order has led many couples to re-assess their marriages along with the direction of their lives. The typical reasons for divorce have been exacerbated: no money (due to job loss or reduced pay or hours), uneven housework distribution, uneven caring for the children who are now home 24/7, etc. Add to that generally little “alone” time.
Divorce activity is up and sociologists are predicting an increase in divorce filings as we exit quarantine. In China, divorce filings skyrocketed after their quarantine ended.
Because many people are at higher risk of getting COVID-19 or the coronavirus, I have been conducting my mediations via Zoom. While it is not as ideal as an in-person mediation, I’ve been finding that it works well. The conversations are working out, the security on Zoom is much improved and we electronically and securely exchange documents. I can also use breakout rooms to caucus with the parties if needed. These are “healthy” divorces. The rest of the divorce process works the same as it did before.
If you are considering a divorce, please think about using mediation. You lose none of your rights, but it is cheaper and quicker and less adversarial (and better for your kids). You can contact me at 732-963-2299 to discuss further.