2020 has offered many strange and unprecedented news events, not the least of which is the COVID-19 pandemic. While some people found quarantining with their significant other relaxing, others found it to be the death knell of their relationship.
Although most of these couples were struggling before the pandemic hit, quarantining together was, for many, the final straw. As a result, the pandemic has the potential to send America’s divorce rate skyrocketing once communities (and courts) reopen.
Here’s what you need to know:
Many Couples are Together, but Separately
If you were considering a divorce before COVID-19 hit, you might find that now is a difficult time to split. This is especially true if you live in a state or community that’s still under lockdown orders. For one thing, couples in these areas can’t separate easily. Merely sleeping in different beds in the same home doesn’t even count as separation in some states. Additionally, it’s virtually impossible to separate households and move out right now, thanks to lockdown orders, a volatile real estate market, and widespread fear of contracting the virus.
Add to that concerns about finances and the job market (especially true if one spouse has been furloughed or lost their job during the pandemic), and it’s easy to see how splitting up has become much more complicated than ever before.
Before the pandemic hit, even highly amicable divorces required a massive amount of mental and emotional stamina. Since the pandemic, the concept of separation has created a level of stress and uncertainty that’s difficult for many couples to endure. Despite this, life must go on, and divorce is sometimes a part of that.
Are We About to See a Divorce Surge?
The COVID-19 pandemic has created an increase in many things. In addition to generating spiking rates of domestic violence, anxiety, depression, and unemployment, it will likely also increase the divorce rate. When you consider the larger picture, this makes sense. After all, it’s impossible to go through such a trying global moment without experiencing the impacts in our personal relationships. As the world tries to figure out what happens next, many are wondering the same thing about their marriages.
Right now, it’s difficult to find empirical data supporting the likelihood of a divorce surge. Thanks in large part to the varying statuses of divorce courts in America. Despite this, therapists and mental health workers across the country are reporting that unscientific email surveys and anecdotal evidence suggests quarantine has weakened the relationships of “at-risk” couples. According to one such survey, 31% of responding couples reported the quarantine had harmed their relationship.
Changes in Dating
For people who are not yet married, the pandemic has presented some stunning changes, both positive and negative. While social distancing and quarantining were mandated across the U.S., online dating took off. Tinder, for example, saw its biggest day ever on March 29 – wracking up a stunning 3 billion swipes. Messaging on the dating platform Hinge, meanwhile, has increased by 30%.
Singles across the country face the reality of a pandemic that has stretched on for months. The nature of dating has certainly changed. While mediums like Zoom dates have taken off, in-person meetings remain discouraged throughout the country.
While the effect this changing dating dynamic will have on marriages down the road remains to be seen. It stands to reason that the couples who meet under these unprecedented circumstances will follow a slightly different relationship trajectory throughout their lives.
Drastic Times Call for Skilled Divorce Counsel
If you’re considering ending your marriage amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, you’re going to face hurdles that do not apply to couples divorcing pre-pandemic. As such, you need skilled legal help to guide you through the process.
Here at MGM Law, P.A., we offer high-quality, compassionate family and collaborative law services for you. Contact us today to learn more about your rights, our services, and the processes of seeking a divorce during these uncertain times. Our attorneys are standing by and are happy to answer all your questions about seeking a divorce in Pensacola and the surrounding areas.