Being married is hard. Being a parent is hard. These are facts that are true during the best of times. And to put it mildly, we are not living in the best of times. We’re living through a pandemic.
“These are quite unprecedented times,” said Diana Isaac, a family lawyer based in Toronto. Her firm, Shulman & Partners LLP, has seen a 40 per cent increase in questions about separation and divorce since the COVID-19 pandemic started.
Given the uptick, Isaac welcomed the opportunity share some of the information she’s found herself repeating to clients. She told HuffPost Canada some of the tips she has for couple with kids who are considering divorcing in the pandemic era.
Remember to focus on what’s best for the children
Stress levels are high, decisions about kids’ schooling are hard, and many people are facing financial insecurity. With so much anxiety in the air, it can be really hard for a lot of people to not live completely in their feelings.
But as much as you can, try to be rational about the situation you’re in, and not give way to anger at your spouse or sadness about your relationship, Isaac said. One of the most important parts of a healthy divorce is making sure the kids get through it relatively unscathed.
“I think sometimes separating yourself from the matter and being less emotional is important,” Isaac said.
Speak up about what you need
Yes, everyone knows communication is key, but not everyone does it. And now, when some couples who want to split up may be stuck in the same house, it’s more important than ever to speak up when you need compassion, or privacy, or for your spouse to just put the kids to bed already.
“Having the communication and providing each other updates about schooling, or who’s going to take care of the children ... allows for a flexible and solution-oriented arrangement,” Isaac said.
Make sure you talk to a lawyer before committing to any major changes
Isaac said lots of couples who want to keep things...