Over the last year, most cities appear to be in holding patterns. Empty restaurants deliver food. Traffic lights flip at empty intersections. Public buildings stand deserted. But behind the doors of homes, life goes on, people grind away, working from home, looking less professional while adapting to the technological world of Zoom calls and relaying emails and apps and apps and more apps, dealing with the uneasiness of a pandemic.

This time at home also had unexpected circumstances on American families—a surge of divorces splashed down on U.S. marriages. The disrupted routines and increased time together placed married couples in a pressurized bubble, upending and unmasking underlying issues, calling for an increased need for New York family law attorneys.

Divorce during a lockdown

It seems more couples are imploding from financial burdens and searching for more individual flexibility and control during uncertain times. The logical solution may be divorce, but lockdowns and sheltering-in-place have unhappy couples putting their separation plans on hold.

According to the National Law Review, this phenomena can be explained using the collective disaster response curve, a model charting how communities operate before and after a disaster. In the beginning, a married couple shows an “increased energy and a sense of community cohesion.” During this period couples may have a “better together” mentality, but after a short period, this energy dissipates. Disillusionment and depression may set in, and couples might struggle, allowing external problems to stress a relationship until they take out this stress on each other.

This extra time together may not all bad news. Some of these couples have gotten past the stress and anger, using the lockdown downtime to find practical solutions regarding their separation. In a lot of cases, their priorities and perspectives have changed, emphasizing the need for a collaborative attitude toward resolving disputes.

Next opportunities

Armed with these new negotiation techniques and family law services opening back up, the goal of an amicable divorce may be in their sites. Even if an amicable divorce is not possible, these new techniques may provide couples with an elevated focus on outcomes instead of arguments. Most divorcing couples have spent enough time in lockdown arguing and are looking to come out of their marriage with resolution and closure.

An essential tool for moving forward amicably is good communication. Compromise through negotiation and mutually agreed upon decisions are the keys to unlocking difficult issues like:

  • Possibilities of future lockdowns
  • Economic uncertainties and equitable distribution of finances
  • Complications arising from children’s custody and living arrangements
  • Settling property issues

While still living together or newly separated, couples therapy may help root out core issues and learn cooperative approaches to practical solutions during the divorce process.

When the time comes, we’re here to help?

In any case, seeking support and advice for your next steps from an experienced family law attorney in Manhattan and Brooklyn is vital. Divorce does not have to be a series of grueling procedures. It does not have to be contentious and combative.

Let us guide you through your alternatives, according to your circumstances, your budget, and your needs. Take the next steps by contacting Randi L. Karmel, PLLC at 212-755-0224 in the Manhattan area to find your best possible outcome.