Will More Couples Divorce Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic?
Being cooped up with your spouse has driven some marriages to the breaking point. The current Pennsylvania lockdown has brought to light deep fissures in many couple’s relationships. For marriages already on the rocks, this pandemic could cause more of them to finally cut the cord and initiate divorce proceedings.
Interestingly, many cities in China (where the pandemic started) have seen a spike in divorce filings. According to an article in Bloomberg, the number of divorce filings increased in the month of March, which coincided with the end of the pandemic in that country. The city of Xian, for example, registered a record high number of divorce filings for the month. Lawyers in China have reported a 25% increase in their caseload, which suggests more couples have emerged from the lockdown realizing they want to be single.
Why Are Couples Divorcing?
For some, spending so much time with their spouse brought to light many of the things they do not like about their partner. For example, couples might realize that they do not split household duties evenly. Though this might have been justified when one spouse worked outside the home, the quarantine has brought new expectations that household chores should be shared. When one spouse balks, the other can feel resentment.
Financial stress is also a driver. Many people have been fired or furloughed, with no income coming in the door. Freelancers and gig economy workers have also seen their incomes collapse. Financial pressures are a leading cause of divorce even when there is not a pandemic raging. With plummeting household incomes, many couples are fighting more about money than they have ever before.
If you already feel that your marriage is on unsteady ground, then the lockdown could be making the stress worse. We should not be surprised to see a spike in divorces in the United States. After the 2002-2003 SARS epidemic in Hong Kong, for example, the divorce rate climbed over 20% the next year.
Consider Your Legal Options
Even if you are not fully committed to divorce, it can’t hurt to discuss the process with a Media divorce lawyer. At our firm, we advise men and women about how a judge will likely view their case. We can discuss how we handle child custody disputes and how much you might get in child support. We can also explain Pennsylvania’s “equitable distribution” system for dividing marital property. If you are interested in only separating, we can discuss that option as well.
Meeting with an attorney does not commit someone to getting divorced. However, it is better to go into the process with your eyes open. In any event, Pennsylvania does not allow “quickie” divorces, so you should fully think through the process before serving your spouse with divorce papers.
Speak with a Delaware County Divorce Attorney
The Media divorce lawyers at Barbara Flum Stein & Associates are here for you during this difficult time. Whether you have settled on divorcing or separation, or if you just want to discuss your rights, we can help. Contact us today to schedule a meeting.