The Coronavirus pandemic has impacted every person’s life, and it has unfortunately caused an uptick in divorce. When compared to the data from March through June last year, the number of people looking for divorce is 34% higher this year. COVID is causing undue stress on married couples and amplifying stress making separation or divorce appealing to more couples. The uncertainties of the pandemic are heightening problems between couples and creating divisions within families.
Factors Contributing to Divorce During COVID
One of the largest issues COVID presents is that some couples have completely different stances on the severity of COVID. Some people are frightened to leave their houses, and some people feel COVID is a global hoax. These are polarizing l, yet real, perspectives people hold and can catalyze marital problems. While there are partners that fall into the middle of this spectrum, the fact is, when a couple is unable to understand where their differences stand on COVID, marital issues can ensue.
Another influencing factor in marriages is the potential looming financial crisis. Industries across the United States have had to lay off employees, or have had to briefly shut down. This is causing financial stress on families and is contributing to marital stress. While COVID adds a new layer of complexity to the divorce process, it is possible to get divorced during the pandemic.
Deciding to go forward with a divorce during COVID, these uncertain times is a huge decision and is best if the decision is a mutual agreement between the couple. It is easier to begin the process of divorce if both couples are on the same page, and no one is caught off guard at the prospect of divorce. The pandemic is already very stressful, and a divorce could add more stress.
Divorce is becoming a more appealing option to more couples, and with online platforms available, people can advance the process of their divorce online or through virtual means. Many courts are backlogged with cases from the lockdown period, but services are now resuming. During this tumultuous pandemic, the divorce process has been adapted. In-person conferences have been replaced by phone and video meetings, electronic court filings, virtual mediations, Zoom court calls, and sometimes in-person meetings with the proper safety precautions. The use of technology during the divorce process has been immensely helpful, as it allows financial planners, therapists, accountants, and all other necessary professionals to be easily brought into the process. These online consultations and online services could also help lessen the emotional stress of divorce.
What to Consider When Divorcing During COVID
There are a couple of factors that should be taken into consideration due to COVID. The pandemic created many unique situations, such as stay at home orders which could make child custody difficult. When thinking about going forward with a divorce during this uncertain time, parents should think about custody and parenting time issues. Also, the marital home is normally the biggest asset in a divorce case, and it’s important to consider COVID effects on the housing market. If the couple wants to sell the house there is a potential that the housing market is not being strong enough to hold the value of the house. This presents the problem that the couple might have to consider staying in the marital home, or an individual has to find a place to rent. Finally, when filing for divorce it is important to consider finances. Financial situations were made unsteady for many couples due to unemployment and pay cuts from COVID. It might not be possible to support two households during these uncertain times, and it might be better to wait to file for divorce.
Divorce cases have custody issues, housing uncertainty, and financial uncertainty, and COVID has been amplifying these issues of the divorce process. It is important to consider all these factors when proceeding with a divorce, and even more important to take external factors related to COVID into consideration. If a divorce cannot wait then it is important to revise expectations to fit the current economy and state of the world.