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COVID-19 & the US Divorce Rate

At this point, most of us have experienced substantial lifestyle changes as a result of COVID-19. The economic impact of the pandemic, combined with stay-at-home orders, has forced most of us to change our day-to-day routines.

Now, studies indicate that the pandemic may increase the US divorce rate. Today, we're exploring why COVID-19 may be responsible for an increasing number of failed marriages across the US.

Why Would COVID-19 Increase the US Divorce Rate?

There are a few reasons COVID-19 could cause the US divorce rate to increase:

  • Economic instability. More than 40 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits since the beginning of the pandemic, as industries nationwide struggle to cope with ongoing quarantine and stay-at-home orders. Money issues are a popular reason for couples to file for divorce, so it stands to reason job loss could increase the divorce rate.
  • People aren't getting alone time. The aforementioned stay-at-home orders and new work-from-home arrangements put in place by many businesses make it more difficult for spouses to spend time away from each other, which is key in many relationships. The more time couples spend cooped up with one another, the easier it may be for each spouse to become irritated or get into arguments with their partner.
  • Families are under more stress. Children are home all the time now that schools are closed, putting many parents in the unenviable position of de facto teacher's aide. In some families, that stressor may be significant enough to spell the downfall of the family unit.
  • It's happening in other countries. In China, cities across the country experienced record-high divorce rates after COVID-19-related quarantines lifted throughout the nation. In some cities, government officials couldn't even take water breaks because they were so busy processing divorce papers.

When you combine these factors together, you get a recipe for a skyrocketing divorce rate in the US and beyond.

Does Data Indicate the US Divorce Rate is Increasing?

The further we get into the pandemic, the more it looks like the US divorce rate is increasing. In a recent survey of couples, 31% of respondents said that COVID-19 had "irreparably damaged" their relationship. Contract website LegalTemplates recently revealed that sales for its divorce agreement package went up 34% from March to July when compared to the same time period in 2019.

An increase in the US divorce rate would be notable, because it's actually been decreasing steadily for decades. So far, millennials seem less likely to file for divorce than previous generations—but we'll have to see if that statistic changes post-COVID-19 and as the millennial generation continues to age (the divorce rate tends to be higher among older demographics, and even the oldest millennials are still middle-aged).

If you're filing for divorce, you need an attorney you can count on by your side to be a rock throughout your case. At the Law Offices of Frank E. Mann, P.C., we'll fight to protect your rights and help you pursue an ideal outcome in your divorce.

Contact us online or via phone at (713) 903-8112 to schedule a consultation with our team.