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Pandemic Compels Couples to Define the Terms of Their Relationships


Should you get married? Move in together? Break up? Put the wedding on hold? Get divorced? Draw up that pre- or post-marital agreement in case it doesn’t work out? Increasingly, the pandemic is compelling couples to discard the notion of a “right time” for redefining the terms of their relationship.

Freehold family law attorneys know that the public health social distancing guidelines essentially offered couples two options (neither exactly ideal):

  • Stay sheltered-in-place together in close quarters for days, weeks and months on end, cohabitating indefinitely.
  • Stay apart or with limited, in-person contact – indefinitely.

As one analysis by The New York Times noted, this put substantial pressure on couples to quickly determine whether their current living situations were bearable.

But now, as the quarantines and lockdowns are slowly being lifted, many say they are facing this next chapter with a greater degree of certainty. They have clarity about the future of their relationship that they didn’t have before. Some realized they can’t live without each other. Others came to understand that it just wasn’t working. And still others have decided more distinct boundaries must be drawn.

Some may have felt rushed into cohabitation, only to discover it’s working out beautifully and they’re saving money in a time of great financial uncertainty.

On the other hand, our Freehold divorce attorneys have encountered couples married for decades who are finally accepting what they suspected for some time: They need to go their separate ways. Before the pandemic, differing schedules, outside jobs and the task of raising children allowed them enough of a buffer to put off unpleasant conversations. Quarantine forced confrontations. But there is a silver lining even here: How long might these unions have limped unhappily on until someone finally got up the courage to address it? The shutdowns may not have been pleasant, but in some cases caused people to rip off the Band-Aid that needed to be removed anyway.

Scary, Dangerous Times Propel Relationships Changes

Whether it’s a natural disaster, a war or a global pandemic, events that drum up fear, a sense of loss, anxiety or danger can be a powerful force in compelling people to confront their own mortality, examine their every day lives and decide whether they want a change. Conversations and life changes get fast-tracked.

To put it simply: Crisis leads us to crossroads.

As we start slowly resuming our regular routines, people are finding themselves finished waiting for the opportune time and seizing the chance to live life the way they really want.

How a New Jersey Family Law Attorney Can Help

If you’re considering a divorce, it helps to talk to an experienced family law attorney who can help you go over your legal options, allowing you to make the most informed decision.

Contact us at (732) 810-0034 or email us through our website.

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