Divorce Rates Increase During COVID-19 I KingSpry

As the Pandemic Continues, Divorce Rates are Increasing – A Coincidence or Correlation?

Posted on September 17th, 2020
by Dorota Gasienica-Kozak

This global pandemic comes with lasting effects on almost every aspect of our lives. Sadly, this also  includes stress and strain on marriages.

At the outset of COVID-19, divorces and other legal proceedings were postponed because of the lockdowns and shelter-in-place orders around the country. While there is no specific evidence pointing to the correlation between the current divorce filings and the pandemic, family lawyers have noted the increase in filing requests since the outbreak of COVID-19.

When looking at the divorce rates globally, there is the same increasing trend in filings since the start of the pandemic. For example, the Chinese city of Xi’an saw a huge spike in the number of divorce filings once the stay-at-home orders were lifting. The United States is expected to follow in this direction. New York City has already reported an increase in divorce inquires and filings by as much as 50%.

This brings us to the question – why would a global pandemic cause divorce rates to increase?

As the country tries to contain the virus with quarantine and stay-at-home orders, spouses are now placed in a new and cramped environment. With little access to the outside world during self-isolation and quarantine, stress on relationships could increase. Couples are now forced to spend more time with each other while in confined small spaces. This isolation may increase petty arguments or argument over things that do not normally come up in conversation. More conflict and tension may arise between people who are not used to living in such close quarters for this long periods of time. Unresolved conflicts, or issues ignored in the past, may emerge during quarantine as couples are together in a closed space for a longer period than usual.

When couples are used to a busy lifestyle with stable routines, these uncomfortable and unpredictable situations may place a lot of stress and anxiety on a marriage. Similarly, couples with children who are not used to spending this amount of time with their spouse and children in an enclosed area may start to encounter hostile or tense living environments.

Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly placed financial strains on individuals and families. Couples who may have already been experiencing financial difficulties could find themselves with even more financial tension, especially when faced with layoffs or furloughs.  Additionally, wealthy couples may even experience lower net worth, and spouses might find it a perfect time to file for divorce with a lower net worth to avoid a larger settlement.

These and many other stressors may be affecting your life choices at this difficult time, but if you are experiencing them, an attorney could help you navigate these waters to make the right decision for your situation. Contact your legal counsel, or feel free to reach out to one of the Family Law attorneys at KingSpry.

Lehigh Valley Family Law is a publication of KingSpry’s Family Law Practice Group. It is meant to be informational and does not constitute legal advice.