Is COVID-19 Causing Rising Divorce Rates?

We’ve all heard the old chestnut “familiarity breeds contempt,” and many Americans are watching that play out in real life during the COVID-19 pandemic. Is coronavirus contributing to a rise in the divorce rate? Lawyers and marriage counselors across the nation are predicting a spike in divorces as courts begin to reopen and it’s easier to find new employment and places to live.

The divorce rate usually sits at around 50 percent, but the added stresses of the pandemic can strain even the happiest marriage. Here’s why we can expect more divorces in the near future—and if you’re considering one of your own, make sure to speak to a skilled family law and divorce attorney in Park Hills, MO to receive the counsel you need.

Straining already-stressed marriages

We probably don’t have to tell you how COVID-19 is affecting Americans. From increased depression, anxiety and other mental illness to massive job loss, continued unemployment, evictions and health concerns, we’re already seeing the effects on a massive scale. As people are forced to stay home together all day, every day, the strain can destroy marriages that are already in bad shape.

Domestic violence cases are spiking, too—while we often see higher rates during holidays, when school is out, people have time off work and we’re all expected to stay home together, COVID-19 has offered these conditions on a much larger and indefinite scale. Unfortunately, unlike the holidays, there are fewer places to escape from abusive partners and toxic marriages right now.

In addition to these conditions, many families are losing loved ones to the virus. This grief and suffering is yet another reason an already-strained marriage can suddenly crumble.

Will we ever know just how many divorces are pandemic-related?

One of the most frustrating parts of the pandemic—especially for people who already wanted to get divorced—is that most courts are closed, or are prioritizing other types of cases until there’s a vaccine available. That means that we’ll definitely see a spike in divorces after the pandemic is over, but there may not be a way to determine whether they’re a direct result of COVID-19. For those interested in the statistics, we may have to wait until self-reporting surveys are available to understand the effect of the pandemic on divorce rates.

Should I file for divorce before the pandemic is over?

If you’re considering divorce—for pandemic-related reasons or otherwise—it’s important that you speak to a family law attorney as soon as possible. If you’re being abused, an attorney can help you find resources to escape. However, if you simply can’t stand each other after being locked up 24/7, bear in mind that it may be difficult to find a new living space right now. Moving services are limited, and courts in your area may still be closed. For some couples, it will be prudent to wait.

Considering divorce? Reaching out to a family lawyer in Park Hills, MO can help—call Maynard & Joyce, LLC today to arrange a consultation.