We don’t need to reiterate the many ways in which Covid-19 has turned our lives inside out or upside down. We know it, we are living it. But for some couples this shake up brought too much to the surface.
Overnight and in unprecedented ways we were made to create a tight and continual connection with our immediate families while being isolated from our friends, extended family and community level supports. This intense family time felt like a slow and breezy reprive for some while for others it was a sputtering pressure cooker barely able to contain to its scalding and explosive contents.
So needless to say, while New Yorkers are cautiously beginning to re-open and a semblance of normalcy returns, those scalded couples have decided to get divorced, causing a spike in the divorce rate and not to mention - those couples are still really pissed off.
The quarantine left them scalded and emotions are running high. How can we turn the conflict level down at a time when tensions are on the rise individually and nationally?
By working together and not against each other.
By giving the couple back control of their lives when most of us feel so powerless.
By relying on proven methods of active listening and building communication.
Mediation pulls the parties out of the adversarial process and gives them control of their own divorce. They make all the decisions together and they remain in control.
A colleague conveyed this great anecdote to me: when she was in civil court over a divorce proceeding the judge turned to one party and asked “ Do you love your children?” the party enthusiastically replied “Yes!” Then the judge turned to the other party and repeated “Do you love your children?” That party then emphatically declared “Yes!”. And the Judge concluded “Well, I don’t love your children yet you want me to decide about their custody and their future?”
By empowering couples to take control of their own divorce we are turning down the heat on that pressure cooker and hoping that turning down the heat anywhere might turn down the heat everywhere.
Divorce was overwhelming before the pandemic but now with Covid couples may find themselves at a loss on how to proceed.
The courts are backlogged but are moving forward with virtual conferences and other hearings. Additionally the courts have been evolving and are encouraging mediation and collaborative law to couples seeking divorce.
Divorce Mediation is available virtually and all necessary documentation can be filed electronically with courts. If you do decide that divorce is the right option for your family, contact less mediation is available for you now. Additionally, you mediator should be able to provide you with all the necessary resources to help you with respect to valuation of assets, parenting coordinators or any other resources you may need.
Schedule a free consultation to learn more about amending custody and visitation agreements in light of the pandemic.