There has been much speculation over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic as to whether or not it will contribute to an abnormally high divorce rate. After all, high stress, economic instability, increased time spent together at home and other societal factors could all combine to shine a light on marital issues or push already-troubled couples over the edge. Will COVID-19 lead to an increase in divorces?
Does an Increase in Stress Mean an Increase in Divorces?
2020 has been a difficult year for millions of Americans, and many couples are facing an abnormal extended period of high stress for the first time in their relationships. Stay-at-home orders and remote work have led couples to be stuck at home and to interact with each other in different ways. As a result, this has led many couples to confront issues that they were otherwise avoiding, like financial, emotional or even physical stresses. When tensions are high and there is nowhere to go, what happens?
In China, there was a divorce spike in March after couples exited the strict lockdowns. One city in central China, Xian, experienced record high divorce filings that led to extensive backlogs at government processing offices. Another city had lines of couples waiting to file for divorce so long that they reported some staff members didn’t have time to take breaks.
Does Correlation Equal Causation?
While there might be an increase in divorces after the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to note that in many cases these issues already existed and the stress of the pandemic merely brought them to a head. One psychologist noted that many clients who are contributing to the increase in divorces were already working through issues before lockdown and lockdown cemented their decision.
Has There Been an Increase in Divorces in the US Already?
Depending on which state or area you examine, the answer might be yes. By the time that April arrived, the divorce rate had already increased by 34% in the United States, and a whopping 20% of couples who were married for five months or less filed for divorce between January and April (compared with just over 10% in 2019).
File for Divorce During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Maryland with Lebovitz Law
If you are interested in filing for divorce in Maryland, Lebovitz Law can help. Despite COVID-19, we remain open to serve all of our clients, and courts are open to serve you and your case. If you have any questions or concerns about how things have changed during COVID-19, we are happy to help ease any concerns. To learn more about how we can assist you, please contact us today.