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How Has COVID-19 Affected Divorce?

How the Coronavirus Pandemic Affected Divorce Rates

Did Divorces Reach the Record Numbers that Experts Predicted?

After a year of trials and tribulations, 2020 is officially behind us. Now, with experts able to look back at the year, new data is emerging to show how the numbers of marriages – and divorces – was affected. Though many early predictions suggested that there would be a record number of divorces due to the stresses of the lockdown and looming threats of infection, the opposite ended up being true.

Florida’s Numbers

Nationwide, marriage and divorce numbers dropped. This could point to a trend where people sought to keep any sort of normalcy or continuity they could – or to a pattern of people who, due to the complications of the pandemic, were unable to take any productive action to pursue their change in relationship status.

According to Bowling Green State University research on cases from March through September, Florida anticipated 43,600 divorces in 2020. In reality, only 31,300 were performed. This marks a whopping 28% decline.

If these drops from the five states included in the research are mirrored nationwide, then the United States saw an estimated 191,053 fewer divorces in 2020 than what was anticipated.

Why a Spike Was Anticipated

Throughout 2020, the world looked to China in an attempt to see what their own future had to offer, as the country was infected with and started responding to the virus earlier. China witnessed a surge of divorce filings immediately following the end of their lockdown. As Americans watched from afar, they braced themselves for a similar fate.

Others assumed that the stresses of the pandemic, paired with a lockdown where spouses who already had some unresolved conflicts were meant to isolate indoors for weeks together, would expose the cracks in a marriage’s foundation and cause an eventual crumble.

Why the Spike Didn’t Happen

Despite early reports of higher levels of domestic violence at the start of lockdown, most surveys conducted by Bowling Green State University found that there was minimal shift in relationship conflict throughout 2020.

Even if partners did begin to argue and wanted to separate, the biggest reason for the absence of the anticipated surge was the impracticality of it for many couples.

Simple uncontested divorces have prevailed throughout the country. However, for couples with complex and disputed divorces, managing negotiations during the pandemic has proven to be a tall task. With financial stability increasingly vulnerable due to rises in unemployment and school closures making time share and custody plans difficult to construct, the complications of the coronavirus are too big a hurdle for most to jump.

Families also postponed divorce for their children in an attempt to offer them some routine as they adapted to online learning, cancelled extracurriculars, and an indefinite raincheck on plans with friends.

Divorce Is Still an Option Amid the Pandemic

While the numbers show a dip in divorces, it is not due to their unavailability. If you are stuck in an unfulfilling, contentious marriage, contact the Law Office of Jerome P. Ventura. We understand that divorce is confusing and stressful, especially during a pandemic. The court’s are currently proceeding with family law matters, including divorce final hearings, via ZOOM and our firm continues to file these matters electronically. Let us shoulder this burden for you so that you can focus on the next, post-pandemic chapter of your life. Call us at (954) 280-6119 for a free consultation.

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