August 2020

Considering Separation or Divorce as Lockdown Ends?

It’s been a testing time for us all over the last five or so months. For some, lockdown has been an opportunity to relax, learn a new skill, start a new hobby or just complete those jobs around the house that have been hanging around for ages. With having extra time on our hands, it has also provided an opportunity to reflect on who we are, what we really want from life, are we happy and so on. Unfortunately for some though, this has meant considering whether or not to stay with a partner or spouse.

The stress and strain of lockdown might have been the final straw for couples whose relationships were already fragile. The financial strain of job loss, working from home, home-schooling the kids, exposure to the virus (or fear of that) and being constantly around your family might have caused one or both of you to reach your limit and decide to separate.

Some couples may have had no choice but to “tough it out” through the past months, even if the decision to separate had already been made by one or both people. With the sudden arrival of COVID-19, some couples have been forced to “nest” despite their desire to separate.

It’s little wonder then, that many family Law specialists and relationship counsellors predicting surge in separation and divorce applications.

Nesting can act as a useful tool as you and your spouse work out how to move forward with a separation or divorce. If you can create a structure that keeps the children at home, while you and your spouse alternate on, and off-duty, making the transition to a full separation easier for you and especially your children.

It’s unlikely that you will have experienced this before so knowing what to do next can be a worry. Plus, there will be lots of emotions floating around – you may be angry, sad, anxious and worried about your children. With you or your spouse deciding to separate or divorce and lockdown restrictions easing, you may find yourselves facing a decision about how your marriage will end.

Choosing your divorce process is a key first step and it very much depends on the state of the relationship and communication with your spouse or partner. It’s important to take your time as making life changing decisions quickly in a crisis is generally not a good approach.

Litigation tends to be the default divorce process, but this is the most destructive way to go unless you absolutely need a judge to make decisions for your family. Choosing an alternative dispute resolution process like Collaborative Practice for you and your family is one of the most important decisions you and your spouse can make.

Before you settle on your divorce process, consider the following:

  • Do I want a civilised, respectful resolution of the issues arising from my separation?
  • Do I want to keep open the possibility of civil contact with my spouse or partner in the future?
  • Do I want to have the best co-parenting relationship possible with my spouse or partner?
  • Do I want to protect my children from the fallout associated with traditional court cases?
  • Do we have friends and/or extended family in common that each of us wants to keep in contact with?
  • Do I want to take personal responsibility for handling this conflict with integrity?
  • Do I want to retain control over the decision making as opposed to leaving it to a judge?
  • Do I want to reach an outcome more specific and suitable to my personal family situation?
  • Do I understand that conflict resolution with integrity involves not only achieving my goals but also finding a way to achieve the reasonable goals of my spouse or partner and our children?
  • Will I commit all my resources and energy towards creative problem solving rather than towards seeking recrimination and/or revenge?
  • Am I ready to fix the problem rather than to fix blame?

If your answer is “yes” to these questions, consider having a consultation with a collaboratively trained professional to see if this process is right for you. A Collaborative Divorce with the support of specially trained Family Consultants, Financial Advisors and Family Lawyers can help you restructure your life in a way that allows you and your family to recover and heal.

Contact us to find out more.

Get in touch to find out how to separate and divorce without confrontation.

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