• About to Divorce? Here Are a Few Useful Tips

    3 Tips for Cohabitating and Co-Parenting on Verge of Divorce

    By Lloyd Malech

    Covid-19 has created a situation where some couples are forced to cohabitate and co-parent despite being on the verge of separation or divorce.

    This is a difficult dance. Some have been doing it for months. Many of these individuals are experiencing intense anger and frustration.

    New York University psychiatrist and child specialist, Anthony Charuvastra, MD, has published some excellent advice on co-parenting for divorcing couples confined to the same home.

    Before getting into his tips, Charuvastra emphasizes that children—as well as adults—need a place where they can feel safe during a crisis such as the pandemic. This is the goal for couples experiencing this challenge. His advice is practical and useful.

    Tip #1: Create a routine within the home that allows the two parents to stay out of each other’s way to the greatest extent possible. This means figuring out exactly who does what when. Establishing such a routine will minimize miscommunication and conflict.

    This prescriptive routine will also help limit children seeing their parents argue.

    Tip #2: Shield children from the brunt of the conflict by arguing where they won’t see you. Charuvastra encourages parents to argue in the basement, garage, or backyard—away from the main living areas.

    Another strategy is for parents to take a walk while they discuss issues between them.

    Tip #3: Be patient.

    Many parents on the verge of separation or divorce feel the urgent need to move on with life. Like almost everything else, the pandemic interrupts this. “Try to remind yourself that as bad as this crisis is, regular life will resume at some point, and you will get back on track with making necessary and important life changes,” the psychiatrist advises.

    I have served as a divorce lawyer for the past 25 years. If you are a Maryland or Washington, DC resident contemplating separation or divorce, contact me for a no-obligation consultation to discuss doing so. If you choose to move forward, we can conduct our meetings remotely and discreetly or safely in person.

    Lloyd Malech is a family law attorney with The Law Offices of Lloyd A. Malech in Bethesda, Maryland

  • Hatred Is Normal

    Hatred Toward Your Soon-to-Be Ex Is Normal

    By Lloyd Malech

    The data is coming in and, sure enough, divorces are spiking due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

    According to the New York Post, the percentage of Americans pursuing divorces from March through June of 2020 is a whopping 34 percent higher than the same time period in 2019.

    To repeat: The divorce rate this year is more than one third higher than it was last year.

    Newlyweds are faring the worst, with 20 percent of couples seeking divorce married within the last five months or fewer.

    There is simply a tremendous amount of strain on marital relationships right now. I discussed some of the reasons for this pressure in a previous blog.

    Writing in Psychology Today, Susan Pease-Gadoua, L.C.S.W., says feeling intense hatred toward your spouse is normal during the divorce process. Some people may need to feel this in order to grieve.

    This hatred seems to crop up from a variety of typical scenarios, she writes. One spouse may feel that their trust has been betrayed. Another may feel rejected. During the divorce process, spouses may feel their partners are handling things in an underhanded way or asking for too much in a proposed settlement.

    These all-too-common circumstances seem to generate hatred. However, the true source of anger stems from the level of attachment to the spouse, Pease-Gadoua asserts.

    Moving forward, such anger keeps us connected to the individual with whom we are upset, she says. When you hate a person you were close to, you retain an emotional attachment to them. They live “rent-free” in your mind.

    Instead, the emotional goal for spouses undergoing divorce should be indifference, she writes. Indifference means the connection has ended. It is the opposite of love and a sign that healing has occurred.

    Certainly, reaching an equitable agreement as part of your divorce can help you move toward indifference. I am a divorce lawyer with 25 years of experience. If you are a Maryland or Washington, DC resident contemplating divorce, feel free to contact me for a no-obligation consultation.

    And know that the anger you are feeling is normal, and it can and will pass.

    Lloyd Malech is a family law attorney with The Law Offices of Lloyd A. Malech in Bethesda, Maryland.

    September 17, 2020

  • Does COVID-19 Have You Thinking About Divorce?

    By Lloyd Malech

    Many psychologists believe divorce rates will spike because of Covid-19.

    It’s not hard to grasp why. Stay-at-home orders and dramatically reduced social schedules have forced couples to spend much more time together than they might choose.

    “Because people can’t get out, they don’t have the escapes that they typically did,” says psychologist Kira Mauseth who is studying the psychological impact of the pandemic.

    The pandemic has created a long season of intensive introspection. All of us are being forced to examine issues we were previously able to minimize through our typical routines.

    The stress of this forced isolation is no doubt made worse by the financial and career strains that many are facing. This type of strain puts additional pressure on a marriage and causes fault lines to appear more clearly.

    In short, COVID is causing the underlying conditions of marriages to come to the forefront.

    Serving as a divorce lawyer for the past 25 years, I have tremendous sympathy for individuals contemplating the process. But if initiating the divorce is the right move, I can certainly help. I am a family law attorney based in Montgomery County, Maryland, and licensed to practice in Maryland and the District of Columbia. I have helped guide numerous residents through successful divorces.

    If the COVID pandemic has you contemplating divorce or separation, and you are a Maryland or Washington, DC resident, contact me for a no-obligation consultation to discuss the upsides and downsides of doing so now. If you choose to move forward, we can conduct our meetings remotely and discreetly or safely in person.

    Courts are beginning to hold in-person proceedings in the Washington, DC metro area. Life will move on from this pandemic and so can you.

    Lloyd Malech is a family law attorney with The Law Offices of Lloyd A. Malech in Bethesda, Maryland.