Is COVID-19 Raising the Divorce Rate?

August 19, 2020

The divorce rate has long been declining, but COVID-19 now has more couples seeking a divorce attorney. Divorce filings often surge during the holidays and after summer, as people are confined at home more than usual. The same effect has been documented in China, and many attorneys report receiving more calls about filing for divorce. Here are five reasons why COVID-19 may increase the divorce rate in Miami, FL and beyond:

  • Financial issues: The pandemic is a major cause of financial uncertainty. Many people face temporary or permanent layoffs, and state unemployment agencies must deal with a backlog of unemployment benefit applications. This amplifies any financial issues in the marriage and likely pushes them into an intolerable zone. Finances are a major element in the decision to divorce, and the pandemic only makes this situation worse.
  • Isolation: Most people go to work, make friends and grow their networks outside their home. This type of distance is healthy for relationships, but sometimes, people indulge in activities to avoid their spouse and an unfavorable home situation. Now, with limitations on social activities and the emphasis on physical distancing, couples are isolated and likely feeling stuck with each other. This is a major issue if they did not get along before the pandemic, and now these feelings can hit a crisis level.
  • Children: Just as couples need time away from each other, they are also used to having some space when the kids are in school. Now with schools mainly teaching online, children are home more, and it places demands on parents. If parents are working from home, this can become an irritation, especially if one parent believes the other is not doing their fair share of supervision. Just as isolation can amplify tensions within the relationship, it can also enhance feelings of inequality and unfairness when it comes to child rearing.
  • Domestic violence: Relationships that were dangerous before COVID-19 are even more dangerous now. With few escape routes, children at home and even workplaces limiting access, incidents that may have been limited to the evening can now happen all day. Physical, sexual, psychological, financial and emotional abuse has more opportunity to occur and escalate. This becomes worse when you consider limited access to medical and social resources. States are reporting increases in domestic violence incidents during the pandemic.
  • Need for change: Major events lead people to reconsider their lives. A marriage may not be bad, per se, but it may fail to offer the excitement or security it once offered. Couples may no longer feel passion for each other, but spend years going through the motions because they see no other option. However, a pandemic like COVID-19 makes people more aware of their mortality, and they may decide life is too short to be miserable. That makes them more willing to embrace major changes, and that can lead to ending a loveless or passionless marriage.

If you require a divorce attorney in Miami, FL, the Law Offices of Granoff & Kessler is available to take cases regarding divorce, child custody, child support and paternity. Call us today to schedule a consultation.

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