The Impact of Stay at Home Orders on Families During the Coronavirus Crisis

Mom and daughter

People all over the nation and the world are grappling with how to navigate a new normal during these unprecedented times. The effects of the coronavirus pandemic have extended much farther than our health, and family law is not immune.

School closures, job loss, stay-at-home orders, and risks of exposure to the virus have raised problems for families who are divorced, and in some cases, it’s even led to a breakup. We at Law Offices Of Mark M. Childress are looking at some of the ways families have been affected.

Increase in Divorce Filings

We’ve been monitoring the situation in China since they are a few weeks ahead of us concerning the virus, and we’ve already seen reports of a surge in divorce filings. For many spouses, the close confinement was too much, and they emerged from the government-mandated lockdown and went straight to the courthouse. Some divorce offices have reported a record-high in filings, which have led to a backlog in the offices. Similarly, we expect to see an increase in divorce filings here in the US.

A Rise in Domestic Violence

There is typically an increase in domestic violence cases during crises, and with much of the US under stay at home orders, there is no escape for victims. Social distancing practices have made it difficult for domestic violence victims to seek help, but hotlines are still in operation and there are options to get assistance.

More Spousal and Child Support Issues

Aside from concerns about our health, the economic impact is a major problem for many. Most recently, the Labor Department reported more than 9 million people had filed for unemployment in the past two weeks. Parents who pay spousal and child support may have experienced a decrease in their income, or they have lost their jobs, making it harder for them to adhere to court orders. Parents can look into modifications, not only for support but for visitation as well. Alternatively, parents who receive support may lose it, impacting their family budget hard.

Co-Parenting Difficulties

In these trying times, divorced families must keep the interests of their children at top of mind. There are additional obstacles for parents with shared custody, which means they may need to adjust parenting schedules temporarily to limit the risk of exposure to the virus.

We’re Here to Help

We understand how stressful these times are for families dealing with legal issues, and we’re here to help alleviate some of the burdens. Let our firm provide you with the services you need to reflect your current reality and guide you through this difficult time.

Contact Law Offices Of Mark M. Childress at (817) 497-8148 to get started on a free consultation with one of our Fort Worth divorce attorneys today.