For many people who have gone through a divorce, the most challenging step is often the first one. A marriage that has lasted for sometimes many years is understandably challenging to end, given the emotional, relational, familial, and financial implications of doing so. The matter is that a marriage is very rarely wandered into and is very infrequently wandered out of. We may do a lot in this life without thinking or planning out the consequences, but my experience is that a divorce is not one of those things. Most people who file for divorce do so very intentionally; they were a specific set of goals in mind. Whether or not those goals are achievable or even reasonable, it can be a different matter altogether.
If you are struggling with whether or not to file for divorce, that won’t make you anything but ordinary. Just as I noted that most people who file for divorce have a plan in mind as far as how to get the divorce, what goals to prioritize, and the methods that they will employ to achieve those goals, it is equally as accurate that those same people Take the impacts of a divorce on their life in that of their family seriously. Do not think you are indecisive or unreasonable if you cannot quite come to terms with your desire to get a divorce. The fact of the matter is that you may go back and forth multiple times before deciding which way to go one way or the other.
I have the opportunity to speak with many people considering a divorce and rely upon the advice of loved people who have been there before to decide whether or not to move forward. Family law attorneys have a unique perspective on divorce given our proximity to those who have gotten divorced before and our ability to help people woman whether or not what colors they may have for their particular divorce or reasonable or not. Sometimes our attorneys talk to people who have goals for their divorce that are entirely unreasonable and unlikely to occur even on the best day in court. Those same people will tell you that they would rather stay married if they cannot achieve those specific goals and divorce.
Whether or not to get a divorce is unique to each person who is considering that decision. Somebody reading this blog post may believe that your safety and well-being are at risk due to abuse or neglect by your spouse. Others may have more superficial problems with your marriage that could be solved more readily through better communication and marriage counseling. However, you may be surprised to learn that different people in different circumstances may find other reasons to believe that their marriage is destined for divorce. What may be an intolerable situation to you may be just the opposite to your neighbor and vice versa.
Once we establish that the reasons for getting a divorce are as unique as the people who find themselves getting married, we can then consider all of the outside scenarios and circumstances that play into whether or not to get a divorce. Our lives have unique components that require a great deal of introspection and thought before important decisions are made. Think about all the different factors in your life regarding your children, finances, religious faith, employment, family, safety, and everything else in between. These are all relevant considerations to make one decide whether or not to get a divorce.
Obviously, in the year 2020, your safety and health take on added importance when it decides whether or not to get a divorce. The year of the Coronavirus pandemic has placed an added focus on our well-being. Not only has this virus caused us two concentrate more heavily on our physical health and that of our families, but it has also shifted focus from time to time on our emotional well-being and our financial well-being. I want to spend some time discussing each of these topics and how they may relate to your decision on whether or not to get a divorce during the coronavirus pandemic.
The emotional impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on your decision whether or not to get a divorce
A person’s emotional health Often has as significant an impact on their physical health as any other factor in their life. It is undoubtedly sad to know just how many Americans and people worldwide have died from the coronavirus and secondary causes exacerbated by the virus itself. In addition to these deaths, we also have to consider the importance of deaths from despair and other emotional problems related to the pandemic. If you are unfamiliar with this idea, let’s take some time to go over it more thoroughly.
It probably wouldn’t surprise you to learn that our nation and world’s emotional and mental health suffered in 2020. Not only are people concerned with their physical health, but they are also concerned with every other aspect of their lives. Governments worldwide have placed a significant burden on each one of us. While the idea of keeping one another safe by encouraging social distancing is not bad in and of itself, in my opinion, the result of these government mandates has born a great deal of consequence for us in terms of our emotional well-being.
Remember that human beings are social creatures. Even in an age where people can communicate and interact digitally, there is still something about person-to-person interactions that we as human beings crave in need. The inability to exercise our innate need to interact directly with one another is a huge problem and one that we have not quite been able to solve during this pandemic. Think about the missed opportunities you had in the workplace, but in religious services and just in your neighborhood to interact with your usual social circles due to people’s concerns, fear, and honoring of social distancing mandates. These are not insignificant matters to consider especially if you are going through troubles in your marriage.
When you and I go through tough times in our lives, we look for outlets to distract ourselves and get well from an emotional perspective despite the tough times we are going through. For many of us, getting a quick bite to eat with friends for lunch or even chatting with coworkers can take our minds off of trouble at home and instead help us focus on more pleasing and less stressful issues than problems in our marriages. This year has done to us is removed our ability to engage in these relationships. Instead, we are left to deal with our thoughts regarding whatever problems we’re dealing with in our lives, most notably stress within our marital relationships.
Without these release valves, we will take these stresses home and instead ruminate upon them directly with our spouses. This is typically a recipe for disaster. Many of us are not equipped to cycle through the emotions and communicate them effectively to our spouses to grow and better the relationship. Instead, we either keep these emotions under wraps until they boil over or frequently let go of them in a counterproductive way.
The result is that you feel like the problems in your marriage are more significant than they may be due to your inability to talk them through either with your spouse or with someone you trust in your life. Emotional concerns eat away at us and usually do not improve over time unless concrete and concerted action are taken. Unless you are a very healthy person from an emotional perspective, you probably don’t have all the tools necessary to find yourself in this category. As such, your risk of finding a divorce to be more essential in 2020 may outweigh the risk too falling prey to divorce in any other year.
Financial concerns in their impact on your divorce during the current virus pandemic
irrespective of issues regarding your emotional state during the pandemic, there are genuine economic concerns that may be more obvious to you and your spouse that will impact the condition of your marriage and your decision on whether or not to proceed with the divorce. Like emotional issues, financial issues can sometimes bubble under the surface but will eventually rise to the surface of your marriage and cause significant problems if left unchecked.
For starters, you may have lost your job due to the pandemic or the government’s response to the pandemic. 10s of millions of Americans are still out of work right now as compared to earlier this year. The troublesome thing about a pandemic like the one we are going through is that many areas of the economy will take far longer to recover than others. If your career depended on your ability to interact with others directly, then your job may have to change or never come back. Just consider all the people who have worked in movie theaters, cruise lines, and particularly high-risk locations.
Before you can even consider a divorce in the cost that comes with it, both in dollars and time commitment, you will likely want to get your financial house in order. Being able to afford a divorce would necessarily mean that you can afford your four walls in terms of housing, food, transportation costs, and utilities. If you cannot afford the essentials, it is unlikely that you would even consider a divorce. Getting your arms wrapped around these subjects would be an excellent first step to moving forward with a divorce case.
Once you have decided that you can make it through your life from a financial perspective during this pandemic, then you can step forward and consider whether or not a divorce is something you can afford to take on and whether or not the costs are justified by you are legitimate reasons to get divorced. I am suggesting that you ask yourself whether or not the juice is worth the squeeze. If your reasons for getting divorced are not sufficient to move forward with the risks and cost involved, you will likely want to get a divorce now and may opt to engage in marriage counseling or therapy.
On the other hand, if you believe that there are sufficient reasons to justify divorce in your case and wish to move forward despite the financial hardships that you may encounter along the way and that is also an ok decision to make. You should find an attorney that you trust to represent you in your case, and you will be best served to have an attorney who focuses on family law to represent you. Why is this so important, and how does having an experienced family law attorney buyer side potentially impact your ability to have an excellent financial outcome in your divorce?
As the old saying goes, time is money. The more time you spend in your case, the more money the case will cost you. A shorter and more efficient divorce should lead you to have a less expensive divorce and one that you are better able to afford as a result. The trouble with the divorce is similar to the problem with owning a small business. All of this sounds reasonable and easy enough to accomplish, but you have to consider that other people besides you are involved. While you cannot always influence and control what your spouse does in the divorce, you can certainly control how you select the attorney who will be representing you.
Hiring an experienced family law attorney to represent you in your divorce is critical to your success both from a strategic standpoint in the divorce and from a financial perspective. I cannot think of a better time to exemplify this position than the current pandemic. Your time is valuable, and your ability to utilize that time effectively has been pushed to its limits during this pandemic. Better to have an attorney by your side who understands this than one who does not. Additionally, as we have already covered, a divorce can eat away at precious financial resources that you can use to recover from any blows dealt with you in the early stages of this pandemic by the virus or the government-mandated shutdowns in response to it.
Whatever your current financial situation may be, there is no doubt that none of us can afford to be foolish with our money. I am willing to bet that every person reading this blog post works hard and does so to provide for ourselves, our spouses, and our families. Nobody wants all of that effort to go for nothing and instead be swept up into an attorney’s fee or a County or District Court coffers. Instead, the best way to accomplish financial goals and build wealth is to keep your income in-house rather than give it to others.
Closing thoughts on divorce in the age of the coronavirus pandemic
we have all been through a great deal this year. No matter how the virus has touched you and your family, it will be understandable to be at wit and in terms of your sanity and patience. If you feel that a divorce is on the horizon, you have options for how he wants to proceed. My suggestion would be to act intentionally and take as much time as possible to consider whether or not getting a divorce is in your best interest. You want to avoid wandering into a divorce because it is almost impossible to walk out of one.
Questions about the material presented in today’s blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan
If you have any questions about the material presented in today’s blog post, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free of charge consultation six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video. These consultations are an excellent way for you to learn more about the world of Texas family law and the services provided to our clients by our attorneys and staff.