The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic restrictions throughout the United States have many Americans feeling uncertain about their futures. Adjusting to a lack of work, working from home, and working while caring for children full-time is a big adjustment for anyone. Unfortunately, anxieties amid the COVID-19 pandemic have apparently given rise to divorces in the Oklahoma City area. Local attorneys are reporting sharp increases in the numbers of calls their offices received recently about filing for divorce, 30% to 40% higher for some.
If you have recently experienced friction in your marriage that seems to have coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic, you are not alone, and many married couples across the country are experiencing marital difficulties for many reasons amid the pandemic. If you are considering divorce or if your spouse has threatened it since the outbreak, there are many possible reasons for it.
Commonly Cited Reasons for Jump in Oklahoma City Divorce Cases
One of the common driving forces behind a divorce, in general, is money. When married couples fight over money, they increase the risk of eventually encountering irreconcilable differences and heading for divorce. The economy has suffered tremendously due to the COVID-19 lockdown, and many people are out of work or adjusting to new routines working from home. Any of these adjustments can potentially lead to arguments and tension between married partners.
Attorneys in the Oklahoma City area also seem to believe that simply spending too much time at home with each other may not be the best thing for some couples. Every marriage is different, and couples that function best when they have their own separate time away from one another may not benefit much from being forced to spend all day, every day with one another. Couples may fight over money, childcare, job opportunities, or other personal issues that may come to light that would have otherwise gone unnoticed during a normal routine.
Whatever the case may be behind marital troubles you might be facing, it’s vital to know what to expect from the divorce process if you think you may contribute to the rising trend of Oklahoma City divorces in the near future. Contacting an experienced Oklahoma City divorce attorney is a good idea if you strongly believe your marriage is beyond saving.
Filing for Divorce in Oklahoma
Oklahoma state law does not require a specific reason to file for divorce. While it is possible to cite faults, such as adultery, abuse, or abandonment, Oklahoma law allows a spouse or couple to file a no-fault divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. Unless the divorcing couple can reach completely mutually agreeable terms about the details of their divorce, they should expect to participate in divorce litigation to reach a satisfactory and legal end to their marital contract.
An alternative to divorce litigation is divorce mediation. This process allows a divorcing couple to settle their legal affairs privately under the supervision of a neutral third-party mediator. This mediator guides negotiations and answers the divorcing couple’s legal questions with the goal of helping them develop their own divorce decree in a legally sound manner. Divorce mediation can significantly streamline the divorce process, helping both spouses save time and money on legal fees.
Why Is Legal Representation So Important?
The rise in divorce cases in Oklahoma City is made more complicated by the fact that the court systems in the United States have slowed to a crawl when it comes to processing active cases due to public health concerns. Many courthouses are closed to the public until further notice and must carefully address their cases in a structured way that maintains active lockdown policies and social distancing guidance from federal and state authorities.
Divorce rates are increasing while it is already difficult for local court systems to process the divorce cases they already have. This is leading to a backlog of divorce petitions and proceedings, and many people in Oklahoma City and beyond are facing financial uncertainty due to their divorce proceedings lingering in legal limbo due to COVID-19.
Finding the right Oklahoma City divorce lawyer sooner rather than later means a better chance at moving ahead in the queue when it comes to the court’s handling of your case. The longer you delay in filing your divorce petition, the greater the risk will be of your case becoming lost in the backlog of new petitions while the courthouse attempts to resolve their active caseloads. If you suspect that your marriage may be coming to an end or if you are certain you are heading for divorce, reach out to an experienced Oklahoma City family law attorney as soon as possible to start reviewing your legal options.