Haute Lawyer Webinar With Sandy B. Becher – True or False? Has the Pandemic Caused More Divorces?

Haute Lawyer hosted a webinar with expert Family and Divorce Law attorney Sandy B. Becher on the effects of the pandemic on marriages.

Becher was hosted by Haute Living’s April Donelson.

Sandy B. Becher has over twenty years’ experience as a criminal defense and family law attorney and has handled hundreds of cases in and out of the state of Florida. He is known for his successful defense of James Giordano against charges for international sports-betting and illegal online gambling, Mr. Becher also successfully defended Gloria James (NBA star Lebron James’ mother) against battery charges stemming from an altercation with a valet parking employee at a Miami Beach hotel; Latin star Paulina Rubio’s divorce and custody battle case; and rapper Flo Rida during a paternity suit and DUI charges. In the area of family law, Mr. Becher has also provided outstanding legal representation in paternity, divorce, custody, and international child kidnapping cases. Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Becher served as a public defender in Miami-Dade County, representing hundreds of indigent defendants in felony and capital cases.

Mr. Becher offers unique insights into the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on divorce rates.

Highlight questions from the webinar: 

Has the pandemic caused divorce rates to go up or down?

Divorce rates surprisingly have actually gone down in general but, that being said, you will also find that the marriage rates have also gone down. People are marrying less and, therefore, are divorcing less. Now, there are differences and nuances related to certain socioeconomic scales. In terms of divorce, what you’ll find is in the higher more affluent people the rates of marriage have actually gone up whereby in the middle class or lower class the rates of marriage have actually gone down. And I think what’s happening is more people are deciding to enjoy each other’s companionship and pool each other’s resources financially for the rest of their lives together, but not necessarily deciding to marry. So those are some of the nuances that we’re seeing in the statistics. But here in South Florida, it’s a bit different because we get an influx from Latin America, we get an influx from Europe, we get an influx from around the country of people relocating here, adding to the population, and obviously driving up both the marriage and the divorce rates.

What message would you have for someone who plans on going through a divorce without legal representation?

My advice would be that if you have no children and no assets and it was a short term marriage, for example, so there are no financial issues to litigate, it may be an okay way to go. But quite frankly, to anybody who’s planning on going through a divorce without a lawyer, my recommendation is to get a good lawyer. The stakes can be high with number one: your children, the most important thing in your life, and number two: your finances. So any potential strategic miscalculation or misstep in the litigation can put you in a bad place and the result of that could have everlasting effects on your life moving forward.

What do you think of the new virtual legal hearings/trials?

I immediately had to reassure all of my clients that I am still on top of all of their issues, still operating at a high rate of efficiency and productivity, and that I was still accessible to them either through FaceTime, Zoom, cell, text, etc. People oftentimes want that face-to-face with their divorce attorney because they’re speaking about the most innermost details of their lives in relation to their spouses, their children, their extended family, and the like. So it was difficult at first for people to not feel that they could get that personal touch. However, as long as you continue to reassure them and stay in touch with them and show that the work is being processed over the course of time, it seems like everybody will adapt. Now, they are very comfortable using it in every aspect of their life and have found it to be tremendously convenient to actually not have to drive to the attorney. So it has become actually very efficient and very productive in terms of the number of hearings or trials that I’ve done on Zoom or virtually at this point. 

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