divorce rates during covidThis year has been the most tumultuous single year in decades for most of the population. Between layoffs, furloughs, work hour reductions and being stuck at home, it has been a troublesome time. The ‘being stuck at home’ part has had many people wondering if divorce rates have increased as a result. Does being stuck at home all day with your significant other increase the likelihood of a break in the relationship?

Let’s look at ground zero to start this investigation. The virus first showed up in China at the tail end of 2019. In 2020, the divorce rate in China has increased. One Chinese divorce attorney claimed his workload has increased by about 25%. In fact, through the first quarter of 2020, Chinese divorce rates hit a record high.

Back here in the U.S. there are no figures to report. Most of the courts have been closed and so data reporting has been sporadic in nature. Susan Newman, Ph.D. was interviewed on the topic and said that the long-term unpredictability and the endless nature of this pandemic causes couples to fight rather than come together like they would for a shorter-term disaster. Furthermore, physical violence is more likely to occur in the home as a result of the cooped up conditions combined with the frustrations associated with Covid.

The CDC reports that the following factors associated with the Covid lock-down contribute to domestic violence: depression, low income, unemployment, drug use, high alcohol consumption, low self-esteem, social isolation, frequent anger, and jealousy.

The bottom line is that we don’t know for sure if the divorce rate will increase as a result of the pandemic. But judging from China’s reporting as well as psychological data, there most likely will be an increase.

Some divorces are amicable and can be done without the aid of an attorney. But anytime they turn contentious, usually when children and/or money are involved, it is a good idea to seek legal counsel. A person should know their rights and seek what they are entitled.

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