The Courts Have Been Closed Because of COVID-19: Why That Might Be a Good Thing for Your Divorce.
On March 24, 2020, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers issued a stay-at-home order for the state to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The next day Wisconsin citizens retreated to their homes to shelter in place and avoid contact with the outside world. When the order went into effect, most court processes ground to a halt as judges, attorneys, and legal staff left their workplaces to comply. Couples going through high-conflict divorce had no choice but to wait until the courts reopened to finish their cases. With courts closed because of COVID-19, you may be frustrated that you can’t move forward with your case. Here is why that might be a good thing for your divorce.
Slowing Down the Pace
Having to stop suddenly may seem like an added stressor when you are in the middle of such an already emotional and tense situation. If you feel as though you just want to get your divorce over with, having to take a break from this intense experience can be a blessing in disguise. Getting caught up in the process can make it difficult to separate painful emotions from the important decisions you have to make during your case. You can reach a point of fatigue where you are less able to maintain perspective. In this situation, people can make choices that may not be good for them in the long term. This involuntary pause from the case can be an opportunity to regroup, regain perspective on your goals, and reconsider some of your options. You will also have the benefit of consulting with your divorce attorney and continuing to work on your case without the pressure of mounting deadlines and impending court hearings.
Parents Can Rise Above Their Differences
The COVID-19 outbreak has been stressful for all of us, but it has been especially hard for children. Kids went from attending school and seeing their friends and family, to social distancing and staying inside. Practically overnight, they had to start wearing masks everywhere and hearing their parents talk about the pandemic. For children who were already dealing with the stress of their parents' divorce, this new situation has added confusion and tension to their lives.
This break from your divorce can help shift attention from your current conflicts to your children’s needs. As parents, you can use this opportunity to set aside your differences and work together to provide your kids with comfort and stability during this uncertain time. Through these efforts, you and your ex may be able to develop a better co-parenting dynamic that will serve you when you complete your parenting plans.
Time for Self-Care
With the demands of daily life and the intensity of divorce, you probably do not have much time to focus on your well-being. Being home more can give you a chance to do things like rest, talk with friends through video conferencing or on the phone, and exercise. With fewer obligations, you may have more time to cook, garden, and engage in other hobbies. If you have been interested in finding a therapist, this may be a good time to learn more about online resources. You are getting a break from an emotionally intense process, and you can use this time to recover. Having more time to devote to your self-care during your divorce can help you regain your emotional balance. By taking care of yourself now, you will be better equipped to manage the remaining tasks when your case resumes.
Attorney Karyn Youso of First Look Family Law has extensive experience helping clients evaluate their circumstances and understand their choices. Come in and let's take a "first look" at your situation so you can figure out your next steps. Please call us today to set up a time to meet.