The pandemic has brought some families closer together literally and figuratively as they shelter at home. However, the stress of the times has been difficult for many others. This is born out in reports of a staggering 34% increase in the number of divorces in the summer of 2020 compared to a year earlier. The pandemic’s impact was supported by such data as:
- Marriages were more likely to end if they were less than five months.
- Half of all applications involved marriages in the last five years.
- The number of people planning to file climbed above the previous year’s numbers within three weeks of the shutdown.
- The numbers continue to climb in the fall.
Why the jump?
Some speculate that couples with unhappy but functional marriage remained stable because the spouses were spending time apart. This included such distractions as focusing on their job, active social lives, family obligations, and time outside the home. Common reasons for the jump include:
Stuck together: Shelter at home orders and recommendations to avoid friends and public spaces stopped outside distractions, forcing some couples to face their marriage’s unhappy nature.
External stressors: Fear of illness, concern about their economic future, the political climate, and the demands of parenting and homeschooling weigh heavily on many.
Issues in the relationship: Others cite the stress of pre-existing vulnerabilities, such as the inability to provide emotional support to spouses in need.
Law firms also adjusting to the pandemic
Many businesses have opened back up. Others have changed the way they conduct businesses. Due to an abundance of caution, some law firms have switched to serving clients’ needs via video conference platforms like Zoom. As was the case before the pandemic, attorneys and staff are also available for phone consultations. These and other methods enable clients to address many family law issues, including divorce.