Discussing Divorce During the Current Health Crisis

Posted on June 19, 2020 01:10pm
Discussing Divorce During the Current Health Crisis

By Theresa Lorella, McKinley Irvin Senior Attorney

For many people, COVID—like other life-changing events—has only intensified their desire to move forward with their lives and to be honest with those around them. With the practical considerations and flexibility listed in this guide, you can absolutely get your case started so there is no need to delay approaching your spouse about a separation. If your partner is on the same page, you may even be able to use some of the tools listed in my Divorce and COVID-19 Guide to have your case resolved prior to the end of the pandemic. That said, there may be some COVID-based resistance from your partner to work through first.

Mitigating Resistance

In any circumstance, the person asking for the divorce is usually more ready to move forward than their spouse. There are many reasons for that reaction, including emotional and financial motivations. Those reactions may be heightened during this time period where stress and anxiety about the economy and health is running high. Your spouse may feel like they have too many things on their plate to deal with a divorce at the same time. If merited, compassion is often in order. However, some people will feel like they need to move forward regardless of their spouse’s practical concerns.

It is possible that resistance can be resolved by seeking out a professional to help facilitate a conversation about next steps and how to address each party’s concerns and worries moving forward. This is often done through a couples counselor or a collaborative divorce coach. Attorneys can also go over options to start a case in a non-confrontational manner and to steer the case onto a cooperative and mediation-based path. Often resistance is fear-based and once communication starts to flow, resistance begins to wane.

About This Blog

This blog was adapted from Theresa Lorella’s “Divorce and COVID-19 Guide: 19 Tips to Productively Navigate Your Family Law Matter During the Pandemic.” To read the full guide, visit McKinley Irvin’s COVID-19 Resource Center.

About the Author

Theresa Lorella is a family law attorney in Seattle, Washington. She has fifteen years of experience as an advocate and now also works as a mediator and arbitrator, helping parties to resolve their disputes in a durable and efficient manner.

  • Best Lawyers
  • Best Law Firms
  • Super Lawyers
  • AV Preeminent
  • Puget Sound Business Journal Washington's Best Workplaces 2023
  • American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
  • Best Lawyers - Lawyer of the Year 2024
  • Avvo Rating 10.0
  • "My attorney was very good in and out of the courtroom. Always kept me up to date on any issues that came up. " R.R.
  • "We would highly recommend the knowledgeable and dedicated law firm of McKinley Irvin to anyone who might be seeking legal services. " P.M.
  • "I knew I had made the right decision. From the beginning of my case to conclusion, I knew I had a great team looking out for my best interest. " Christine P.
  • "I cannot imagine two people better able to represent me " M.L.
  • "I always felt my specific needs were very well represented and that I could count on David to be a trusted adviser. " T.M.
Read More