The impact of COVID-19 has been felt in many areas, and marriage is one of them. There are now reports that the United States’ divorce rate has spiked compared to the same period last year. According to one study, the number of people filing for divorce is up 34% from March to June in 2020 compared to 2019.
The pandemic has impacted couples on a number of different levels:
- Couples sheltering together: Living and working under the same roof makes it hard to avoid the fact that the marriage no longer a loving one.
- Lack of support: Adversity brings out the best and worst in people, and the worst often includes a spouse not providing necessary emotional support.
- External issues: Job status, anxiety over the pandemic and the political climate add stress to the household.
This has all put undeniable stress upon marriages, particularly ones that were not on firm ground.
Other notable statistics
The numbers started to climb by mid-April, or about three weeks into the initial shutdown. While over a third filed, an estimated 31% of couples said that the pandemic had done irreparable damage to marriage, particularly newlyweds – 20% of divorces involved couples married less than six months.
Some also said that the stress pushed formerly functional but loveless marriages past the breaking point because the pandemic forced them to spend so much time with their spouse.
Law firms still open
Many courts are on a limited schedule here in Michigan, which creates a backlog. But law firms are working remotely and can handle most of the case’s details via videoconferencing, phone, email, or text. In fact, this was common before the pandemic, particularly in cases where the couple uses alternative dispute resolution options like mediation.