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Breaking up in Covid-19 times has new woes

October 22, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Divorce or separation is rarely easy, but couples dissolving their households during Covid-19 are facing new woes -- the stress of job losses, shared housing, co-parenting and health insurance worries in a global pandemic.

"Sometime late last year, I started feeling like we'd grown into different people," she said.

"In 'normal' times, a crisis would force couples into a cooperative pattern," said Clarissa Silva, a New York City-based behavioral scientist and relationship coach.

"Some people are really planning their escape or their next step in life for their freedom right now," said Kem Marks, founder and chief attorney of Just In Time Legal Solutions in Bessemer, Alabama.

Divorce proceedings have changed since the pandemic began, said Frances Martinez, a family law attorney with Older, Lundy, Alvarez & Koch in Tampa, Florida.

But that hardly means the emotional toll of getting divorced right now isn't taking a toll, she said —especially when it comes to formulating parenting plans, with so many uncertainties still surrounding the coronavirus and schooling options.

But anxiety levels are at an all-time high for most people," she said.

"Parents are fighting over virtual or in person, they want to deny time-sharing because of these things," she said.

The pandemic has people teetering on the edge more than ever due to both the overall stress of the pandemic and the inequalities that have been further highlighted because of it, said Linda Waite, a professor in the deparment of sociology at the University of Chicago.

Couples without kids who are separating or divorcing are also enduring huge losses right now, Waite said.

Once couples have decided divorce is the only path forward, said Gail Nankervis, a certified divorce financial analyst whose business, Changeover Divorce Transitions, offers mediation and financial adviser services for couples who are separating, there are several things to keep in mind.

"Even after a divorce, you are still a family," Nankervis said.

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