I’ve lost count of the number of texts and emails I’ve received in the last 14 days suggesting to me that the divorce rate is going to boom due to the COVID-19 pandemic and that I better buckle up and get ready. On the one hand, my firm, my team, and I are ready for whatever happens. On the other hand, I’m saddened at the thought of a surge in divorces.
Allow me to be frank. Divorce is not fun, should not be thought of as an easy way out no matter how socially acceptable it has become, and is a life-altering decision that will set you off on a path that may not be greener than the one you are on.
When we get married, we all make the vow to stick together through good times and bad. Well, the times we find ourselves in certainly qualify as “the bad.” But beyond the obvious financial challenges this pandemic is posing to many, isn’t there a silver lining? We are necessarily more involved in our children’s daily school-work than ever before. We are having three meals a day with each other for the first time since our last vacation. And we get to have family game night every night.
I read an article from a psychologist right after the government started mandating social distancing and work from home became a requirement for most of us. The advice was try to stay in a routine and space ourselves out during the days by finding different parts of the home to work from. For the most part, this has proved to be great advice that my family and I have taken. I look forward to our meals together and do more cooking than I have in a long while. I am impressed with my kids and their work ethic and embrace the opportunity to provide input and be a resource to them that I ordinarily can’t be. And family game nights are actually pretty fun.
So in these trying times, put some effort into your marriage to make it work. I am a realist and know that many relationships that were teetering on the edge will likely come to an end after being quarantined, which is okay. Maybe it is even a good result for some who have just been unable to rip off the band aid. But if you weren’t teetering or you just need a reminder that you are a great team and can survive adversity together, which is in part what brought you together in the first place, give it that old college try and fight through this and fight for your marriage and your family.
Thomas T. Field
Divorce and Family Law Partner and Head of Family Law Practice