It is undeniable that many couples are feeling the strain of being forced to spend more time together as a result of the pandemic. Divorces and separations have significantly increased during the Covid-19 Pandemic and are only expected to continue to increase after the lockdown measures end and courts re open.
If your marriage was struggling before the pandemic, the added stress that the pandemic has created is probably making things worse.
For many struggling couples, the pandemic has added additional layers of stress including loss of income, forced time with your spouse, home schooling, inflated housing and rental market, isolation and loneliness, and no social outlets to destress.
For some couples this drastic change in family dynamic has made them re-evaluate their marriage and many have come to the realization that it is time to end things.
“In the US, experts suggest that 39% of marriages end in divorce. The rate is about the same in Canada. Generally, 38% of marital unions end before a couple reach their 50th anniversary”
The Family Court Crisis
Unfortunately for those couples who have decided to end their marriage, there is a new crisis emerging which is the backlog in cases in the family courts. The unprecedented closure of the Ontario Family Courts has caused a huge backlog of cases, many of which will take years to resolve through the family court system.
The good news is that despite the family court crisis, there are ways that couples can avoid getting caught up in the broken family court system. One of those options is through mediation.
Mediation is the better option
Mediation is a method to settle disputes as an alternative to traditional litigation. Some of the benefits of mediation are:
- Focuses on the best interest of your children
- Flexibility to negotiate more practical solutions that work for your family situation
- Focus is on a win-win outcome as opposed to a win-lose outcome
- Goal is to resolve problems and preserve an amicable relationship moving forward
- Faster process allowing both parties to move forward with their new lives
- Cost effective- Mediation is typically ¼ of the cost of traditional litigation.
If you feel that you have weighed out all the options and have come to the decision that it is better to separate, a skilled and competent mediator can help you end things amicably.