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Will COVID-19 Lead to a Surge in Divorces?

The novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has couples self-isolating in lockdown, spending virtually 24 hours a day with each other. While some may compare it to Christmas or spending a vacation together, many relationship experts and divorce attorneys see it differently; they anticipate a surge in divorce filings after the quarantines are canceled and Californians are able to return back to their everyday lives.

When things are normal and our country isn’t dealing with a global pandemic, people get to go to work every day, hit the gym, run errands, go shopping, and do fun things on the weekends that they enjoy. But thanks to COVID-19, our lives have slowed down considerably and for many people, especially “non-essential” workers, it seems their lives have come to a grinding halt. As such, couples and families are being forced by the governor’s orders to stay inside to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Couples Strained By Quarantine

At first, the stay at home orders may have seemed fun and relaxing, but for thousands of married couples in California, every day in quarantine means they inch closer and closer to the breaking point in their marriage. But why is this? Some couples aren’t used to spending so much time together. For others, their marriage was already hanging by a thread, and now that they’re forced to spend every waking minute together, the divorce that was bound to happen “someday” is now going to happen much sooner.

Another issue is finances. Many Californians are suddenly dealing with unemployment, which adds strain to a marriage. If both spouses find themselves out of work, it can add so much stress that they can fight non-stop. With every passing day in quarantine, the spouses start to fantasize about filing for divorce and starting fresh.

“I’m inclined to believe we will see an uptick in divorces resulting from the stress of being confined with our spouses with whom we are not accustomed to spending so much one-on-one time. The lack of freedom and day-to-day struggles, coupled with the emotional and financial fallout, will probably take their toll on marriages,” wrote Susan Newman Ph.D. in Psychology Today.

If COVID-19 has you contemplating divorce, contact Cage & Miles to schedule a free consultation to discuss your options.