During this time when most of us are practicing social distancing and starting to feel isolated or irritable or just scared, I have received a lot of calls, emails, and memes about how all of this time at home will cause the divorce rate to rise because people are stuck at home together, forced to face the problems they are able to better ignore when they leave the home every day for work or other obligations. First, as an attorney, let me say that it is never a good idea to make huge decisions in the middle of a crisis unless a decision MUST be made. We all need to practice patience and kindness during a time like this and if that seems impossible, then take a long walk and just breathe. We truly need to endure this situation one day at a time. And we will endure it.
Second, as a husband, let me say that this is a great time for some self-reflection and to focus on all of the things for which you should say “thank you” to your spouse or partner. Think about all of the things in your world that just work because your partner handles them. Whether you are the person who makes sure the car insurance bill is always paid on time or you are the person that makes sure there are always clean towels in the closet, you are important to your family and you deserve to be appreciated for it. What we each do for our families should not be a thankless job. You should say “thank you” and mean it.
Third, as a father, let me say that none of us is likely to ever have the opportunity again to spend this length of time with our children during the school year and this is a great time to understand what your children are learning, how they are learning it and to be a part of it all. My kids have handled this situation like troopers and largely with a smile, despite being unable to run around like they usually do, to see their friends every day and to have other human contact like they ordinarily do. They have devoured every educational and other activity we have given to them. It all has reminded me that their minds really are like sponges. This, in turn, made me think (again) about what happens to kids in a divorce. Keep in mind that those little minds, like sponges, will sop up whatever they touch, so if you are in a divorce case or headed into one, please remember that every decision you make will impact those little people and unless they are three years old or younger, there is a very high probability that they will remember……
Finally, as a member of this community and as a proud American, let me say that this is a great time to ask what you can do to help someone else that is really in need. While the biggest struggle most of us will face during this time is with obtaining toilet paper or managing our own anxiety about COVID-19, there are people who will be or are already unable to pay their basic bills because their workplace has been forced to close; there are people who are sick and cannot get proper medical care; and, there are people that are victims of domestic violence whose abusers are now in the home with them all day every day, stressed out and anxious like most of us, and those people’s lives are at risk.
As a member of the Board of The Spring, this last example really hits home for me, so I ask you to consider making a donation, in any amount, to support The Spring during this difficult time. Imagine what it is like during a time like this for the staff of The Spring to come to work every day at a domestic violence shelter where new residents arrive daily. These people, like health care workers and other first responders, are on the front lines, placing their own health and safety in harm’s way to help others in need. They deserve, and in fact, need our support. You can contribute here.
Take care of yourselves and your loved ones.
Michael Lundy has been practicing law since 1999, when he began his career in the area of complex civil litigation. In 2001, he was hired by Alston & Bird LLP, where he worked in both the Atlanta and New York offices in the areas of public and private securities transactions, mergers and acquisitions and general corporate law. In 2003, Lundy founded Older, Lundy & Alvarez with Ben Older and the firm has seen extraordinary growth ever since. Currently, he practices almost exclusively in the area of Marital and Family Law.