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Virginia Beach attorney sees increase in couples wanting to separate during pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic is creating stress on families. A local attorney said some partners are filing for divorce.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Divorce can be a rough road for any family and now add the stress of COVID-19.

The quarantine and job loss are taking a big toll on marriages. While it’s too soon for official data on divorce rates, an attorney with Hofheimer Family Law Firm in Hilltop said she is seeing a spike in couples separating.

Attorney Sheera Herrell said, “What we’ve seen is that there is a constant flow of people who are wanting advice on separation or divorce or custody, child support or spousal support.”

Herrell's firm only represents women exclusively in divorce, custody, and support. She said she’s seen an increase in new clients seeking guidance.

“We are busy. People have questions. For example: what can I do with my children while my husband and I are living apart or in the same home?  We don’t have a custody order, how do I handle the exchange of the children?” Herrell said.

Herrell said another stress added to separations, is while people can still file petitions and divorces in the court, COVID-19 has slowed down the progress for setting a hearing date.

Herrell said, “Since the courts have been closed for about eight-plus weeks, all of those cases set had to be continued so there is probably a backload of at least four to six months.”

While Herrell said people think of this as a roadblock, she said it’s a process that takes time.

She explained, “You can still move on with your life during these circumstances, you can still file and you can’t look forward to setting your hearing and moving your case forward.”

Hofheimer Family Law Firm offers seminars and events for women. For more information, click here.