Growing up, my family lived through a lot of change. I was born in 1983, during a time of war between Iraq and Iran. I have memories from my childhood of running to bomb shelters during the war. Eventually, my family immigrated, first to Sweden, and then to the United States. As a kid, my parents often talked about how they went to bed living in a free country, one where you could wear miniskirts, enjoy education, and express yourself. In the morning when they woke up, everything had changed. Women were told they had to cover their hair, and people were required to go to the mosque to pray multiple times a day.
I am writing this on March 25, and even with all of the change I’ve personally experienced in my life, up until this point I’ve never fully appreciated what my parents went through until last week when we suddenly all felt the need to quarantine ourselves. Last week, our lives changed overnight.
At Atlanta Divorce Law Group, we went fully virtual as soon as possible. We wanted to, because we wanted to make sure that our firm was doing its part. As schools closed and people all around us ceased to live normally, we felt it was the right thing to do for our employees, for our clients, and for our community.
If ever there was a time when families felt pressure, it’s now. There is the pressure of work, of educating children at home, of staying healthy, and of personal finances. Still, we want to urge you not to forfeit progress in your life just because of this pandemic.
At ADLG, we are still offering consultations to our clients virtually. Some of our clients, we know, don’t have the luxury of a private space where they can openly discuss their needs. If that describes you, we are providing space in our conference rooms so that we can keep the doors of communication open. For our clients who need to sign, pick-up, or drop-off a document, we are continuing to do that by appointment.
If you are struggling through life in a toxic home environment, know this: the courts are still operating in a way that can provide protections for victims of domestic violence, people who need restraining orders, and other emergency situations. They haven’t shut down. And for the rest of our clients, know that the majority of family law cases are settled outside of the courts anyways, through processes like mediation, dispute resolutions, and negotiations.
Even in this difficult time, there is a lot you can do right now to feel like you have control over your life. I have been reaching out to my clients to see how I can serve them, regardless of whether it is within our area of specialty a lot. At ADLG, we are an office full of parents. We are an office full of personal experience with divorce, and we’ve never felt as connected to our clients as we do right now, or as full of desire to help them. We have a sea of resources we can connect you with, and we are here for you in whatever capacity you need.
As we move through this shared experience, ADLG will continue to offer complimentary group therapy for our clients who are going through a divorce, but meetings will now be held virtually. Do not hesitate to reach out about it.
As parents, we know many of our clients are worried about adding additional stress to their children’s lives by going through with a divorce. They don’t want to do anything that will make any of this harder on their children. If that is your concern, I would remind you that what harms our children isn’t change. Change is natural. What harms our children is a toxic home environment. And right now, the best thing we can do for our kids is to be the most emotionally healthy and vibrant versions of ourselves that we can be, so that one day, if they have to face something like this on their own, they will have the resilience to face it with grace.
I will leave you with this: a prayer for a healthy future, and for all of us to gain some resilience through this shared experience.