Texas’ statewide shelter-in-place order related to the national COVID-19 pandemic is slowly coming to an end after about a month. For the past four weeks, married couples throughout the state spent a lot more time together than usual. No doubt that for many couples, this difficult time brought them closer together. For others, it has exacerbated problems with the relationship, possibly to the breaking point.

If you are considering divorce after lockdown, you are not alone. Harris County courts and family law attorneys are anticipating a surge in divorce filings.

Quarantine and marital difficulties

With so many people furloughed during quarantine, financial tensions that couples were experiencing likely grew worse. Meanwhile, spending 24 hours a day together could create new conflicts between spouses or aggravate existing problems. In the most serious cases, people are trapped with abusive spouses that are targeting them, their children, or both.

Under normal circumstances, these issues can lead to marital problems, but maybe ones that can be fixed (except perhaps for domestic violence). On the other hand, going through an experience like a monthlong quarantine can feel like a sign. Many unhappily married people may decide not to put off filing for divorce any longer.

Those filing for divorce now may face longer wait times than usual. While Harris County family courts stayed in operation to deal with protective orders and domestic violence accusations, less urgent matters like divorce filings have been stacking up. While divorce filings are often seasonal, this could represent a new, hopefully one-time addition to the calendar.

Your rights must be respected

To get your divorce taken care of properly, so you do not have to go back later on to fix mistakes, you should consult an experienced family law attorney to find out what they can do to protect your parental and property rights.