COVID-19 Relationship Issues – What to Consider While Separating During the Pandemic

A lot of Canadian marriages have been tested throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. As couples have faced new stresses and anxieties relating to finances and other matters, we’ve seen a notable increase in separations and divorces. If you are married or living in a marriage-like relationship and are considering a separation, you may be unsure about how to proceed. A separation during a pandemic is not easy, but it is possible to proceed. A divorce lawyer in Toronto provides everything you will want to know about the process of getting a divorce during COVID.


What Type Of Divorce Do You Want?

The media often communicates divorce as a very messy, emotional battle between two warring spouses. However, most divorces are not that. In fact, a lot of divorces are settled behind closed doors through negotiations between lawyers.

If you want a fast, easy, and affordable divorce, negotiating the terms of separation in private and avoiding a court battle is smart. You can choose to hire a third-party mediator to help guide the discussion, involve a team of specialists working as a part of a collaborative approach, or you can speak to your divorce lawyer to determine if there’s a more appropriate divorce option for you.


How Is The Process Of Getting A COVID Divorce Different?

Most family law practices continue to be open and accepting of new clients. A lot will be open to scheduling in-person meetings, and however, if you are uncomfortable about meeting in-person relating to COVID and prefer a virtual appointment, many divorce lawyers are offering these appointments as well.

Beyond the meetings with a lawyer potentially being a bit different, coping during COVID-19 understandably requires more support. Even if we’re thought to be towards the end of the pandemic, the emotional toll of separation is heightened. Ensure you have the emotional support you know you need. Work with your ex to resolve living and financial arrangements impacted by COVID. If you have children, of course, you will want to ensure they’re coping with their emotions and getting the support they need in this difficult time.

A COVID separation or divorce can intensify and complicate the difficulties of going through this process.


Are You Ready For Your Living Situation To Change?

A major challenge that divorcing couples have encountered is the change in living situations. Lockdowns, rising home prices, and volatility in real estate markets around the country have created a dynamic in which it can be disadvantageous to leave and live elsewhere. The unfortunate result of that is that couples who no longer want to live together continue to do so. This leads to more stress, issues with boundaries, and a wide array of other problems.

If you can find somewhere affordable, consider renting or buying a new place. A temporary alternative is to move in with a friend or family member. Living with an ex is not something you should feel forced into because of the current pandemic. Look at all available options.


How Will You Co-Manage Finances During A COVID Divorce?

Adding to the complexity of your separation agreement is how the finances are to be handled. Many Canadians have been furloughed, lost their jobs, seen their businesses close down, and continue to be in a worse financial position currently than they were pre-pandemic. This can impact things like spousal support or child support, when applicable. Be sure to share all financial information with your divorce lawyer to ensure the separation agreement is structured fairly.

Due to finances, you may think about waiting to separate or divorce. Legally speaking, this isn’t the best option, however, as the court system has already seen a backlog of separations and divorces. Furthermore, you are only elongating the journey you’re taking towards an inevitability by waiting.


If You Have Children, How Will You Co-Parent During A Lockdown?

If there is another lockdown, co-parenting can be even tougher. If each one of us is to limit contact with others, this puts more stress on co-parents. There must be a clear discussion on how schooling will be handled, the plan if either co-parent or the child becomes ill, living arrangements during a lockdown, and more.

Look at every possible lockdown scenario and negotiate the terms with your ex today. Each parent should fully agree with what those terms are; this way, they’ll know what to expect if there is another COVID-19 lockdown.


Don’t Forget About You And Your Mental Health

The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t been easy on anyone. Add to that going through a separation or divorce, and that’s a significant amount of stress. Take care of your mental health. Prioritize yourself. Talk to a counsellor if you think it’s needed. Engage in acts of self-care. Take time away from work and do something that you enjoy, like reading a book by your favourite author, taking a walk in the woods, or having lunch with a friend.

When your mental health is taken care of, you will feel better physically, and it’ll make your separation a little more tolerable to make through.


Hire A Divorce Lawyer To Help With Your Separation

If you’re going through a separation or divorce during COVID, connect with a family lawyer that’s experienced, willing to help, and who will do everything they can to ensure your rights are protected. Schedule a free virtual consultation today.