How to keep moving forward if you’re quarantined during your divorce

Divorce is a life-changing decision that can be stressful under normal circumstances. Right now, when many of us are dealing with the effects of the coronavirus, going through a divorce can become more complicated, especially if you’re quarantined. But, just because you’re under stay home orders doesn’t mean your divorce has to stall. Here are several ways your divorce can still move forward.

Consider Conference Calling

While lawyers’ offices may be closed, many are still working from home. Contact your attorney to see if they offer the option of conference calling by video; this can allow you to meet with your attorney so that your case can still move forward. If your spouse and their attorney are agreeable to a conference call with you and your attorney, you may be able to keep your divorce on track.

If you are going to do any type of audio or visual conference call, try to ensure your kids are otherwise occupied and if you can go to a different room where you can have some privacy. You don’t want them to hear any details of what you are discussing.

Collect Needed Documents

Many financial documents are needed for a divorce. Take this time at home to get everything together so that when you can return to court, you’re ready to go. Download any bank statements and keep an organized file of what you need. Some people even store these documents online (using Dropbox so that they can be shared easily with attornies.

If you can’t find specific documents that you need, make a list so that you know what you’re going to need to track down.

Clean-Out Belongings

Divorce is about making a fresh start. Use your time at home to clean out your things and any unwanted items that your spouse may have left behind. Box up what you don’t need and what’s not yours so that you can start new. It’s a good time to do some spring cleaning and take inventory of what you want to keep and what you no longer need.

Work on Your Budget & New Life Plan

Divorce means changing your life as well as your spending habits. Now that you have time, sit down and make a new budget. Consider what you will be able to afford, and what will now be considered an “extra.” Having everything written out on paper will help you to visualize your new life.

Also, take the time to write down your new goals and dreams. Some people like to create a vision board to help them keep things in perspective. Other people start journaling to write down their emotions and develop new goals. Trying either or both methods while you’re quarantined can provide inspiration and motivation.

Create a Parenting Plan

If you have children and will need to figure out custody and other child-related issues, this is a good time to craft a parenting plan. Jot down some ideas about scheduling and how you envision you and your spouse will share time with your children as well as any child support.

Your attorney can give you pointers as you navigate through this. Remember to always keep your children and their best interests in the forefront. As you create your parenting plan, you may also come up with different scenarios that you can discuss with your spouse to see which one is the best for your children.

Instead of looking at your quarantined time as time that you’re dreading, look at it as a time to be productive and do things to keep your divorce moving forward. If you do this, you may even be ahead of the game once things return to normal, and you begin your new life.