I’ve recently talked to a couple of different clients who are ready for divorce, and would be moving forward on their plans if not for one thing. The big thing. The thing that’s everyone’s been thinking about and changing their routines around over the last few weeks.
The coronavirus pandemic, and the needed move toward social distancing, is certainly having an impact on how the courts operate and how we operate. To be clear: We’re still doing consultations and meeting with our established clients, though we’re doing so via video conference and phone calls. We’re still emailing clients back who email us questions and concerns — which can often, as we noted in this blog before, be the best way to contact us in non-emergencies.
Because we do a lot of our work on computers, we’re doing a lot of our work from home. There are still physical documents that we need to file in the courts, and we’re all still adopting to the rules of the stay-at-home order we’re currently under. But we’re considered essential employees when we travel to the courthouse to file documents, and the work of the courts is still going on.
What that should mean for you is even in this uncertain time of social distancing, if you are certain about getting divorced, you should move forward. If you’re just getting started, and you’re not yet ready to tell your spouse and file the original petition for divorce, you can do a lot of the homework right now.
You can download copies of bank statements, credit card statements, and other financial documents and send those over to our office. You can inventory all your assets, and we can help you determine if there’s anything that can be considered your separate property instead of community property. (Here’s an article that can answer some questions for you on that topic.)
If you have children, you can think about the parenting schedule that would work best — it could be the standard one that the Texas Family Code uses as a default, or it could be an alternative plan. (We have a whole series of articles that help you consider different times of the year and the needs of your children from birth through graduation.)
As a lawyer who remains calm in managing unexpected situations, I’m here to help you and to reassure you that you can get divorced even in these times. The pandemic’s not going to last forever, and we’re going to get through this.
We don’t know how long it’s going to take to succeed at social distancing, but we have the technology to allow life to go on even while we’re staying at a physical distance for each other. Divorce is often a decision that comes down to seeing a happier and better post-divorce life for you and your children. There’s no reason to put that off.