As the Coronavirus has turned everyone's life upside down, it has also impacted divorce mediation. Luckily, the divorce mediation process is designed to be adjustable and to minimize stress during difficult times.
So how have things changed?
For one, the new normal has demonstrated how important is to have a flexible divorce agreement. The agreement that we create in divorce mediation allows for changes to the parenting schedule to account for new issues like remote/hybrid school schedules and the unpredictability of outside-of- school activities. In addition, our agreements incorporate plans for how to proceed with alimony and child support in the short term and the long run, if the couple's incomes change, or one or both parents lose their jobs.
Two, swings in the economy from the pandemic have also impacted the division of assets and liabilities. Over the past year, the whole country's economic situation has changed significantly with record unemployment as well as huge stock market gains. Thus, many people's income has become less dependable. At the same time, for some families, their retirement and other investment accounts are up. Similarly, the housing market in the suburbs has gotten very hot, so it's a good time to sell a marital home, but not necessarily an easy time to find a new affordable place to live. All of these economic issues are considered and addressed in divorce mediation.
Three, with divorce mediation going virtual, clients do not need to be limited by location in picking their divorce mediator. Now, regardless of where you live in the state, divorce mediation can be equally convenient, opening up new options for divorcing couples who no longer have to travel to sessions or worry about baby-sitting.
Divorce mediation has long provided a better alternative to litigation. The roller coaster of the past year has demonstrated the continuing benefits of the divorce mediation process.