We are living in the craziest of times, unlike anything we have experienced before, so it’s safe to say that people are feeling the effects in every facet of their lives. For divorcing couples, it’s a particularly strange period, where the process has now been slowed down.
While there’s no doubt that divorce is a complicated and stressful situation for everyone, for business owners, there are additional aspects to consider, and increased pressure regarding the division of assets.
In this article, we’ll highlight a few ways — from choosing a top divorce lawyer to maintaining a peaceful and productive relationship with your spouse — to ensure that your divorce is as hassle-free and efficient as possible during COVID-19.
Expect and Prepare for Delays
With the divorce process, delays are something that people want to avoid as much as possible, but during the pandemic, the world is at a standstill in many regards.
In normal circumstances, delays during divorce tend to happen because of disagreements or negotiating financial agreements — but in this case, it’s also because many legal proceedings cannot take place until social distancing is no longer in place.
Also, the top priority for the courts is dealing with emergency applications such as cases involving domestic violence, child abuse and other high-risk scenarios.
For business owners during or in preparation for a divorce, it’s vital to prepare yourself for delays and act accordingly. For example, when planning your budget for the rest of the year, as well as next year, it’s crucial to take the division of matrimonial assets into consideration.
Failing to do so could result in a severe impact on upcoming projects, or your business’ financial situation overall. While delays do give you time to breathe and prepare yourself for what’s to come, including pressing pause on the financial impact of your divorce, it’s important not to adopt an “out of sight, out of mind” attitude.
Use This Time to Negotiate with Your Spouse
It isn't a good idea to make agreements about money or assets before your divorce, as you should always consult a top divorce lawyer who has the experience and expertise to offer sound advice.
But if you are currently isolating with your spouse (or even if you’re not), now is an excellent time to have productive conversations regarding both of your futures. Divorces have a nasty habit of becoming hostile, quickly — especially when decisions about assets can have such a significant impact on something as crucial as your business.
This doesn’t mean you should sign a contract or set anything in stone, but you’ll find that a calm and collected discussion can help to prepare you both for when you can finalise your divorce. You may well find that doing so will help you to protect your business while satisfying your spouse’s financial needs.
For business owners, this is often the most challenging step of a divorce and the aspect that causes the most stress — if you’re able to avoid or even reduce this stress, it’s at least worth a try.
Not only this, but it will help you to build a good relationship with your spouse after the divorce, which is hugely beneficial if you have children.
Maintain a Peaceful Household
Due to the stressful, complicated and often hostile nature of a divorce, it’s not uncommon for the experience to be nothing short of exhausting, especially when you factor in confrontations with your spouse as well as the challenging nature of coronavirus.
Maintaining a peaceful household is essential for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it ensures that children won’t be exposed to the uglier side of divorce and be traumatised by what they experience. But from a business standpoint, it makes sure that you have a relaxed environment to come home to, away from the challenges of your work life.
Whether you’re an employer or employee, the impact of a divorce can be a huge distraction that affects not only your own work and motivation but also others around you. As a business owner, it’s vital that you lead by example and maintain a sense of authority — unfortunately, this is easier said than done during something as tricky as a divorce.
By ensuring that your home environment isn’t adding to your day-to-day challenges, you significantly improve your overall quality of work and personal life. This pandemic has been stressful enough, so there’s no need to make it worse by engaging in daily battles at home.
Find a Top Divorce Lawyer (With Remote Services)
The first and most crucial step to take with a divorce, or any other legal matter, is to seek the guidance and services of an experienced professional.
Shopping around for a top divorce lawyer that suits both your needs and budget is essential for navigating the difficulties of a divorce, as well as gaining sound advice for aspects that are more specific for your own scenario.
These can include protecting business assets during a divorce or even liquidating assets such as property to buy out/pay off your spouse. You’ll find that the support of a professional family lawyer is fantastic for finding creative solutions to the most complex problems. And if it can help to protect your business, it’s certainly worth a shot?
Unfortunately, we find ourselves in a unique situation where strolling into your lawyer’s office to discuss your case isn’t a possibility right now. So, when shopping around for a lawyer, it’s essential that you find out what their protocol is regarding COVID-19 and what they are doing to ensure their clients get a valuable service.
Most law firms are able to maintain regular and productive communication with their clients via telephone, email and video calls. And, if you’re in the middle of a divorce, your divorce lawyer will be able to provide more insight into how the court system is operating with social distancing in place and provide a more realistic timeframe for finalising your divorce.
Every divorce is unique, so you will want to adopt an approach that suits you best. While some couples will wait and see what happens with COVID-19 then make financial decisions, others will want a more immediate approach to resolve their divorce as quickly as possible.
Either way, this is something that can be discussed with your family lawyer to establish which next step will be most effective for yourself and your family.