HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Attorneys say the COVID-19 pandemic is taking a big toll on marriages. More people are expected to file for divorce in the coming weeks and months.
Extended confinement, or being stuck in the house together, and stress over job loss or finances is the culprit.
Harris County courts are still operating and taking emergency cases that deal with protective orders, family assault and child abuse.
Many of them have made adjustments and are handling some hearings via Zoom or other video recording platforms.
As for divorce filings, because those aren't urgent, they may stack up and create a huge surge once stay-home orders end.
"I think what's going to be exacerbated at this time is the resentment that people feel," said Lillian Alexander, Henny Law Firm partner. "People will be triggered. Financially, they will be very triggered. Emotionally, they will be very triggered. When people feel very triggered, they take a defining moment, like this, like we've never seen, as a sign. As a sign that they need to move forward and start fresh, or either get out of a toxic scenario. Or do something that protects their children, or something to have more time with their children. All of these things, along with such a worldwide tragedy, will be the catalyst for a lot of family law cases in any sense of the form."
Alexander went on to suggest that if you're struggling with your spouse, reach out to a family mediator or a friend, while most law proceedings are on hold. Think of creative ways to co-parent or co-function. Think about your children first, so that they don't have to endure any more unnecessary trauma, if possible.
Remember, if you are in an abusive situation, seek help immediately.