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Attorney: Some clients hope to use stimulus check to pay for divorce filings

Coronavirus

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Thousands of Rhode Islanders are cooped up at home because of the pandemic, and one local divorce attorney tells Eyewitness News he’s fully expecting an uptick in filings.

Chris Heberg, a divorce attorney with Heberg Law, said being quarantined at home for weeks can be the perfect storm, and the stress can have a strain on any relationship.

While Heberg said there hasn’t been an uptick in filings now, but he expects an increase in the near future.

“You will probably see an uptick in divorce, I would expect May and June to be very busy,” Heberg said. “I think there is something to the fact that if you take people that already have a weak relationship and you lock them in the house for a month straight, it’s going to add stress to the relationship.”

He said he’s already heard from clients who plan to use their stimulus check to pay for the proceedings.

“People are calling me now saying ‘When I get the stimulus check I’ll be able to afford it,'” he said.

During these unprecedented times, Heberg is urging couples to stop and think before making any major decisions while still in quarantine.

“People should give themselves some time after the pandemic,” he said. “These could be just the external pressures, societal and money, that are forcing you to think about divorce.”

“Once those go away you may find that your relationship is a lot better than it was, and you won’t need to contact me, which is fine,” Heberg added. “I’d rather keep couples together than divorce them, quite frankly.”

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