DENVER (KDVR) — Time stuck at home for Colorado couples is serving as a pressure cooker for some.
“We’re in an unprecedented time, and it forces people to kind of reevaluate their relationships, their marriage,” said Jamie Smith, managing litigation attorney for Cordell & Cordell. “Sometimes if that relationship was already kind of rocky, being stuck with them 24-7 is like putting gasoline on a fire.”
Over the past eight weeks, Smith says her firm has scheduled more than 5,000 initial consults, and 1,028 new consults in the last two weeks alone. The Problem Solvers reached out to several Colorado-based firms to confirm the general trend: more people are reaching out to at least ask questions about the process.
Compared to last year, Colorado Legal Group saw a 48% increase in online inquires in March, a 61% increase in April, and a 192% increase in the first two weeks of May. Granted, the firm was only open for seven months come March 2019, so the trend could factor the firm’s growth over time.
“It’s also kind of affecting people who have current support obligations, whether it’s child support or spousal maintenance,” Smith said. She says even though courts are closed in parts of the state like El Paso County, e-filing is widely available, and the court process continues through portals like WebEx and Zoom.
“There’s nothing wrong with reaching out to schedule a consultation just to find out, what are my rights? What risks, what issues am I looking at if things aren’t going well in my marriage?” Smith said.
The trend of people reaching out to divorce lawyers doesn’t surprise marriage counselors like YY Wei with The Relationship Center of Colorado. She’s seen an increase in business since the stay-at-home era began in Denver.
“When we have all of this freedom, we can have separation more easily, which means we can avoid the issues,” Wei said. “If they could only use this opportunity to deal with it, it will actually bring them close.”
Wei has some tips for matted couples living together during the pandemic: