Filing for divorce during COVID-19 (and why it may be the right time)

If you are married and are beginning to think that this marriage is not right for you, here are a few things you should consider.
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Filing for divorce during a global pandemic may sound wrong, but it might actually be the best step for you. Although divorce proceedings have been delayed as they move through the courts in recent months, there are still benefits to deciding to file for divorce sooner rather than later. While it may seem like a daunting task, we are here to share with you the potential benefits of filing for divorce right now.

  • The longer you wait, the more of your hard-earned income and assets could be divided between you and your spouse. In Pennsylvania, the date of separation is a key factor in determining which assets are “marital”. Most assets acquired prior to your date of separation are considered marital and can be divided with your spouse. All assets acquired after the date of separation are typically exempt from distribution. This means that the longer you wait to file for divorce, the more of your belongings have the potential to be split up between you and your ex-partner. Assets like 401ks, pensions, increase in the value of separate real estate, and other assets are all vulnerable. Further, the longer you are married as the higher-earning spouse, the more liability you may have for alimony. The earlier you file your divorce complaint, the earlier your date of separation will be, so it will be easier to determine your lessen your exposure with respect to division of assets.
  • Divorce is a lengthy process. Filing for divorce, pandemic or not, can be a lengthy process. While the divorce may not be able to be finalized by courts right now, there are so many other moving parts that must be put into action first. By beginning this process now you are getting a head start on the divorce process – rather than potentially extending it 6-8 months. You will save yourself time by taking the first steps now rather than waiting for the courts to fully re-open to begin the process.
  • Mediation is a great option. While you can’t get finalized divorce papers right now, you can get mediation. Mediation allows divorcing couples to meet with a neutral mediator and resolve certain divorce issues without a judge. Mediation provides couples with many benefits. It saves you time since you are not waiting around for the courts to open, and it makes your divorce process not bound by court dates. It also saves you from going in front of a judge and letting them decide your division of assets for you. Mediation is also typically a quicker and less costly process for couples, making it a great option for couples in quarantine.
  • Ease your mind when you need it most. Quarantine has already taken its toll mentally on our community. There has been added stress and problems arising for families due to financial pressures and the close proximity at which quarantine has kept us in. Taking the step to make an exploratory call will help you get all the information you need – whatever marital decision you make. If you’ve been waiting around for the right time to file for divorce, filing now may help relieve some of the emotional weight and stress you have been carrying.

If you are married and are beginning to think that this marriage is not right for you – that is a common experience. Many couples all around the world are feeling the same way. As people in China and a number of European countries have begun to come out of lockdown the number of divorces there have spiked, and we are expecting the same pattern here once things open. The stressors of the pandemic do take a toll on our daily lives and relationships. If you are thinking about divorce, it may be in your best interest to contact one of our family attorneys and begin researching your options as soon as possible.

At Sadek and Cooper, we understand how tough and uncertain these situations can be, but we’re here for you. We want to provide you with the guidance and support you need while going through these tough times and offer you a free consultation.

The attorneys at Sadek and Cooper Law Offices have handled hundreds of divorces in Philadelphia and the surrounding counties of Montgomery, Delaware, Bucks, and Chester. We are also licensed in the State of New Jersey. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation at 215-545-0008.

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