Disputes about custody and parenting, child support, educational costs, and other family law issues are stressful even in ordinary times. Family conflict upsets the rhythm of daily life, particularly for children. Your personal and emotional supports may no longer exist or may be unreliable. You may feel a loss of control over the most important, and most basic aspects of your life. These experiences were natural before Spring 2020 and the advent of the Coronavirus. The pandemic presents new concerns: the health of our families, friends and loved ones, the extension of Governor Baker’s “stay-at-home” directive, closed businesses and schools, our children’s education, potential loss of income, and following court orders when access to the courts is limited.
Things are tough but not insurmountable.
Here are some simple truths. First, this will eventually all end. Our lives will return to a normal routine. Next, even though legally (or otherwise) you may feel stuck right now, you are not. My advice to anyone struggling through a domestic conflict is the same as always. Do everything that you can to resolve your case informally. You are more in control than you may realize. You cannot control another person’s thinking or demands. But you can control how you respond. Be objective. Be reasonable. You will need help. Seek out legal advice. You need an experienced legal guide. You need someone to serve as your sounding-board. You need someone committed to you who understands your priorities. Your guide will help you evaluate your legal options. Your guide will show you creative ways to reach your legal goals that never occurred to you, or that perhaps you did not fully understand before. You are not stuck. You just have not found the right guide yet.
Perhaps this advice is more important now than ever before. Domestic cases have always created uncertainty. The Coronavirus has introduced a new form of uncertainty into the process. Here is what has not changed. You have control. You can choose to pursue a negotiated outcome. You can choose the priorities that are most important to you and let go of others. You can choose a lawyer to guide you in that process. Reach out. Make a call. Send an email. Start now.