“If you are a pizzeria that went out of business and you cannot reopen, then that business is worth zero.  But, if you are a law firm or an accounting firm or a small business owner, the value of your business is not measured in this micro-second of time. You look over year-over-year earnings trend and income,” she said.

“They don’t like it when the facts come to light, but I am in the business to create equitable divorce settlements, and equitable has to be fair and so I just need the facts,” Smith said.

Like Smith, Donna Cheswick also has seen her call volumes skyrocket. “I have been getting a lot more calls in the last six weeks than I probably got in two to three months,” she said. “People are just worried. They hear something from a friend or from TV and they just really are not sure."

Cheswick, a financial advisor and partner with Medallion Wealth Management Inc. in Sewickley, Pa., and the owner of Cheswick Divorce Solutions, said while the lockdown may have pushed many people who have been contemplating divorce closer to moving forward to finalize the process, the pandemic has brought undue pressure and stress on everyone. “And that only tends to impact emotional decisions as well,” she said, noting that financial stress is one of the biggest reasons why people divorce.

Cheswick said she gets a lot of calls from the disadvantaged spouse, and it is not just the wife anymore. There are a lot of husbands whose wives work and they are the lower wage earners, she said.

She pointed out that the scare tactics used by those in control of the finances have always been used in divorces, she said. “If it needs to be divided in some fashion, it still needs to be divided." Problems arise, she said, when people already negotiated some agreement before Covid-19 hit.

“A lot of my calls are more dealing with just going through some education and knowledge so that they know what to expect,” she said.

Smith said the pandemic is exposing strengths and weaknesses of everybody’s relationships. She predicted there will be a surge in divorces in January for the many people that may be thinking about it or that were on the fence.

Cheswick is not making any hard predictions, but she said, “A lot of people say nine months from now, we are either going to have a lot of divorces or a lot of babies. Probably, we are going to have both,” she said.

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