Divorce in Our New Normal
How Will Divorce Be Navigated During the Coronavirus Pandemic?
The world has been blindsided by coronavirus causing a global pandemic the likes that none of us have ever experienced. The chaos caused by COVID-19 has disrupted our lives in gargantuan proportions. The news feeds change hour to hour as the illness rate and the death toll climbs. The grim reality is that the virus is living amongst us, for a while, ready to attack without warning. We question “When do we get back to normal?” “Can we get our lives back?” “Will the kids go back to school any time soon?” “Is it possible to keep my job?” The answers are varied from — “Very soon” to “ Next week” to “Once there is a vaccine.” They are many and varied and have led to mass confusion for most of us.
Typically, I am someone who neither sees the glass as half full or half empty. Rather I look at the glass as half – something in the middle. Maybe my perception is built out of a protective mechanism to avoid disappointment if things go poorly or pleasant surprise if things go well. With my pragmatic lens of life, I make decisions predicated on facts. Facts – a word we hear frequently these days. What are the facts?
How We Live Today Is Drastically Different
The general consensus of opinion is that the normal as we knew is in the past. How we lived just two months ago will be an existence for history books; something we tell our grandchildren that happened all before the big virus of 2020. We can be accurate if we assume that life, after the pandemic, life will be different. We will adapt to our new normal whatever that will be. We will make changes in how we shop, congregate, and educate. It sounds futuristic and it is. It will be our new future.
The question is how bumpy will the road life between our two worlds, pre- and post-pandemic, be? We are impatient and don’t want to wait. We want to hop off Tilt-a-Whirl of life with a steady footing below our feet. We want to spend a day at the beach huddled on towels with our besties. Saturday nights out to dinner in jammed packed restaurants are now only dreams. Could we ever have imagined that running errands – the dry cleaner, the gas station, the bank, and the supermarket, once annoyances, would now be cherished activities? We crave stability and the ability to move freely in our world.
How Do We Navigate Divorce During This Unsteady Time?
This yearning for stability is equally evident in the divorce journey; trying to navigate one during this unsteady time.
Is there a way to file for divorce while social distancing? Where is mediation held? Are there settlement conferences any longer? What about custody evaluations and other assessments that have long necessitated close observation of parents and children? Can you still have your day in court for your final divorce? The answer to these questions is yes. All areas of divorce are static with a new choreography; a dance that changes daily. I would be remiss if I claimed that divorce journeys over the next few months may not present challenges. Divorce procedures will be carved out in different ways; more streamlined and efficient. How those changes sculpt the new landscape of divorce is something that only time will tell us. For the first time in a long time, I look at those changes as the glass is half full.