How to Use the COVID-19 Quarantine to Settle Your Divorce Case

How to Use the COVID-19 Quarantine to Settle Your Divorce Case

You and your spouse were having marital troubles before COVID-19 suddenly appeared, changing all of our lives. Then you were thrust together in the home with tighter and tighter governmental restrictions, driving you both stir crazy. Tempers flared. Or silence reigns. Either way, your marriage is in trouble. And maybe it is now too late.

Now you both feel stuck. Stifled. And it is getting worse each day.

Here is one potential roadmap to help you both move towards the future:

  1. Communicate with each other honestly and bluntly but require civility.
  2. Talk about what made you both fall in love with each other and compare that to where you both find yourselves now.
  3. Decide whether you believe some marital counseling could help you find new ways to re-energize your marriage and move forward together.
  4. If not, begin a business-like conversation about divorce.

If you are thinking about divorce, then the conversation should start with the major issues:

  1. Child Related Issues
    1. Legal Custody: Most families today accept the concept of joint legal custody, which just means making shared decisions for their children.
    2. Physical Custody: Really, this is talking about the parenting time schedule.
    3. Health Insurance: Who has it and will cover it, and will the other parent contribute? Usually, contributing to non-covered medical and other health care expenses is done pro rata (proportionally) to each of your gross incomes.
  1. Monthly Expense Issues
    1. Child Support: A quick call to an experienced divorce attorney can assist you with this calculation.
    2. Alimony: This entails a conversation with an attorney. And if the two of you are operating with a high level of civility, you can both have a telephone/Skype session with a divorce mediator.
  1. Assets
    1. Real Property: If you own a home, are either of you staying there and buying out the other, or is the home getting sold and both of you are looking for new homes near each other?
    2. Tangible Personal Property: Everything from cars to household belongings.
    3. Intangible Assets: Like the ownership of businesses and determining if there is value to them. Again, this conversation likely requires an experienced family law attorney.
    4. Non-Retirement Accounts: They need to be identified and split up.
    5. Retirement Accounts: These also need to be identified and split up.

There are many other issues surrounding your divorce, like taxes, life insurance, college, and more. Discuss, but start with the big issues first.

Create your civility rules and limit each conversation to one topic at a time and place a time limit on that conversation.

Take breaks!

Here is one last thought, and it sounds crazy, but think about it for a minute, and you will understand: roleplay. Place yourself in your spouse’s position on an issue to try to understand where they are coming from. It will help you understand the emotions behind their position, which can only help aid you with resolution.

Do not feel like you are alone in this. An experienced divorce attorney is a call or email away. Trust a professional to assist you with strategies to move forward and settle your divorce case. You could actually, while living in the same household, reach a written agreement, file for divorce, and obtain a divorce in Maryland, within several weeks – even in the midst of COVID-19.

Questions? SIEGELLAW can help. Call us at 410-792-2300 or fill out the form on this page to request additional information.