The Covid-19 pandemic has changed daily life for most Americans in a way that could have lasting impacts for years to come. But while the coronavirus has had somewhat predictable effects on public health, the economy and where/how people work, its effect on wedded relationships has been harder to pin down.
In mid-2020, as the first nationwide lockdown was coming to an end, family law attorneys around the country were reporting surges in divorce inquiries from potential clients. It seemed that many marriages had broken during and/or because of the pandemic, and that people wanted out.
As of right now, however, the conclusions are less clear. According to one study tracking monthly rates of marriage and divorce in five states (one of which was Florida), divorce rates fell sharply and marriage rates fell significantly last year.
The reasons behind these trends is somewhat intuitive. Many weddings had to be postponed indefinitely with the restrictions on large gatherings. And divorces were down for at least two reasons. First, many courthouses were closed during significant portions of 2020 due to Covid-19 stay-at-home orders. Second, the economic recession that has accompanied the pandemic made it much more difficult for couples considering divorce to feel like they could afford it.
What we still don’t know, however, is whether divorce and marriage rates will shoot back up again to relieve pent-up demand or whether they will stay lower than normal. Given that life looks so different and unfamiliar for most of us these days, either outcome would be understandable.
If you’re in a marriage that is headed for divorce, the good news is that you presumably won’t need to wait much longer. With a vaccine already being distributed in the U.S., life could be returning to normal for many of us within six months or so. In the meantime, much of the work you need to do to complete the divorce process can be completed remotely and virtually.
For more information, contact an experienced family law attorney in your area.