Covid-19 and Marital Relationship Issues
The worldwide call to limit external social activity, keeping a social distance, working from home and even having to isolate oneself at home will result in one having to spend much more than an unusual amount of time at home with their spouse.
This situation can inevitably expose any underlying conflicts couples may be experiencing.
This, in turn, causes friction and puts a strain in parties’ relationship, with the inevitable rise of resentment, and thoughts of divorce or separation.
Is this the right time to consider divorce or separation?
There is no right or wrong time. No one expects you to suffer or keep appearances. It does not take a pandemic to make a decision to divorce or separate. What is important is how to handle this as delicately as possible.
How do I approach my spouse to inform of him/her of my decision?
You would have spent a considerable amount of time when making this decision to divorce or separate. However, when you approach your spouse to inform of your decision, bear in mind your spouse would not have that time or be in a position on par with you.
You need to decide if it’s better to leave a note, message, email, or have a face-to-face discussion.
When making your notes, best to set out how your conversation should go, what you wish to discuss, with a self-reminder to keep your cool, and be clear and calm. Exercise empathy.
Do I engage a lawyer to communicate with my spouse?
If you feel it is difficult to approach your spouse, perhaps a soft letter from your Divorce Lawyers addressed to your spouse via email, will open the door of communication and to inform of your decision to divorce or separate, and of your wish to achieve an amicable resolution.
What Divorce or Separation Models available for me to consider?
The litigation approach is avoided at this pre-divorce/separation stage. The Models to consider are Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms, namely;
- Collaborative Family Practice (CFP),
- Without-Prejudice Negotiations and
What if my spouse does not wish to divorce/separate and is not opened to any form of discussion, what do I do?
It would be best to consult a top divorce lawyer to know your rights, what you should do to kick-start the process, and what you should do in the interim with respect to custody issues, financial separation, and protection of assets.