How COVID-19 Is Changing Divorce Law This Valentine’s Day

The end-of-year holiday season is one of the biggest reasons that couples decide to split apart. Thanksgiving and Christmas require a lot of work — and they can be really messy when couples stop communicating their needs and desires. That part of the reason that the first few months of the New Year are busy ones for divorce attorneys. But they’ve been even busier thanks to COVID-19. It looks like divorce attorneys are looking to capitalize on this momentum with a few very strange advertising gimmicks.

One Orlando divorce attorney is offering a “free divorce” on Valentine’s Day for couples who have had enough. 

Erin Morse of the Law Office of Erin Morse said, “We at the Law office of Erin Morse understand that 2020 had a negative impact on everyone’s lives. The Coronavirus took jobs, social interaction, homes and for some life itself. As our world slowly continues to rebuild, the Law Office of erin Morse would like to offer some help.”

Unfortunately, not everyone can apply — and the offer is only valid as a contest, which of course has set rules. Chief among those rules is the requirement that each spouse must agree that an uncontested dissolution of marriage is in their best interests. This usually means that the two parties can agree on how to split joint assets. It also usually means that there are no kids in the equation or that custody has already been agreed upon. If not, the prize is forfeit.

Interested parties must also reside in the state of Florida. And because this is a contest, divorcing couples must also submit both a written story and filmed video of their reasons for divorce. This will allow Erin Morse to choose the spouses based on her own personal reasons. Winners will be announced on Morse’s own podcast, where they will need to respond to claim the prize immediately.

And there’s one big catch — while Morse will cover the attorney’s fees, the soon-to-be ex-spouses will still need to cover any other fees, including inevitable courtroom costs and filing fees. In other words, it’s not really “free.” 

According to one official, “Valentine’s Day is meant to spend time and celebrate your love with that special someone in your life. But for some, this celebration is not possible.”

This is especially true for new couples who were not yet living together at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Getting together now means putting many others at risk after potentially hazardous or dangerous travel conditions. Experts suggest that flying won’t be truly safe until the end of 2021 at the earliest, and urge that only those who truly need to travel do so. As always, personal transportation is best.

Instead of offering gimmicks to boost their own firm, some divorce attorneys offer avenues to couples or marriage counseling in order to attempt to repair damage before the need for divorce arises. But not everyone wants to waste more time — especially after so much of it has been lost in the last year or so.