As communities across the U.S. continue to implement measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), people are finding themselves facing numerous challenges. Many individuals have lost their jobs, while parents who are trying to work from home may also have to homeschool their children and continue to run the household. Some people are sheltering in place on their own, and they are coping with feelings of isolation and even depression. For couples, other challenges arise. How do you find time away from your spouse? What if their behavior is getting on your nerves? What if an argument erupts, but you can’t go anywhere to cool off? Already, psychologists and legal experts are anticipating a rise in the number of couples who want a divorce as the weeks wear on. Let’s take a look at why we may see an uptick in the national divorce rate due to the impact of COVID-19.
A Familiar Pattern
Under normal circumstances, there are certain times during the year when couples are more likely to seek a divorce. Peak divorce times occur after the summer months and after the Christmas holiday—essentially, directly following extended periods of “togetherness time.” Spending too much time with your partner and your family can take its toll on your marriage, as you may be more likely to irritate each other and argue. Now, with many cities and states imposing fairly strict quarantine measures to slow the spread of COVID-19, it’s likely that couples who already have a fragile marriage may be pushed to their limits.
Anxieties Fueling Marital Disputes
Like the winter holidays, the COVID-19 epidemic is causing people to worry about their finances, their employment stability, and their health. As individuals deal with their own anxieties, it’s common for couples to take out their stress on each other. We are all facing an unprecedented amount of uncertainty, as we have no definitive idea about when these quarantine measures will end. It’s natural to miss our social outlets, such as going to work, chatting with colleagues, meeting up with friends, and exercising at the gym. Without these liberties, we can feel even more trapped and frustrated, which can lead to conflict at home.
A Rise in Divorce-Related Inquiries
At the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, many attorneys reported a slight downturn in the number of client calls. This is understandable, as many Americans are focused on their finances right now and may put off seeking legal help until they know they can afford it. However, in recent weeks, divorce and family law attorneys are noticing that couples are beginning to reach out and ask questions about the divorce process. It appears that early predictions were right—the longer some married couples remain trapped with each other, the more likely they are to become fed up with each other and want to escape their marriage. One U.K. legal firm found that there has been a 230 percent increase in the number of times the phrase “I want a divorce” has been searched for on the internet. For now, attorneys are bracing for an onslaught of divorce requests in the upcoming weeks and months.
If you want to learn more about your divorce or dissolution options in the West Chester area, you need an attorney who can provide you with the support and guidance you need during these unprecedented times. The dedicated legal team at Garretson & Holcomb, LLC offers phone and video conferencing consultation services, so reach out today by calling (513) 863-6600.