Have Divorces Increased or Decreased During COVID?

Have Divorces Increased or Decreased During COVID?

By: Gordon & Perlut, LLC

Over the past several years, COVID has taken a heavy toll. Ongoing issues surrounding the pandemic continue to put stress on relationships. Have divorce rates increased during this time? Generally, the answer is yes. Our Arlington Heights divorce attorney explains the ups and downs of divorce that can be attributed to COVID.

Pandemic Impacts On Marriage and Divorce

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began issuing COVID-19 warnings during the winter of 2019. By early spring 2020, the government had declared a public health emergency, travel bans were in place, and states were issuing stay-at-home orders.

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker ordered schools and businesses to close at the end of March 2020 in an effort to reduce the spread and protect already overwhelmed health care resources. In the two years since our state and the country as a whole have struggled to return to a ‘new’ normal.

Among those hardest hit by pandemic-related stress were couples. Consequences of COVID that negatively impacted relationships include:

  • Financial struggles due to being out of work
  • Challenges in homeschooling children and keeping them occupied during off-hours
  • Being unable to leave the house, engage in their usual hobbies and activities, or visit with family and friends
  • Concern over getting sick themselves and how COVID might impact older adult relatives and others most at risk

While some couples grew closer, many began to contemplate divorce. However, actually getting one or even separating was not always an option. In addition to concerns over housing and other practical matters, the Illinois Courts were operating on a drastically reduced schedule and many divorce cases were delayed.

Ongoing COVID Issues And Divorce Rate Increases

There was speculation that practical concerns during the height of COVID had kept divorce counts low and that there would likely be a flood of divorce cases in the aftermath. Unfortunately, this turned out to be true. According to Psychology Today, there was more than a 30% increase in divorce rates once stay-home orders were lifted. Some of this likely represents couples who had intended to file for a divorce but had to delay their plans, but the majority can be attributed to ongoing COVID issues. These include:

    • Continuing financial struggles, as some businesses failed to recover
    • Drastically different schedules, as many people continue to work from home
    • Post-traumatic stress that has the potential to pull couples apart
    • Bitter disputes and controversy over the virus itself and the need for masking and vaccines

Our Arlington Heights Divorce Attorney Is Here To Help

It is not uncommon for married people to face challenges and bumps in the road regarding their relationship during normal times. Going through a major public emergency, such as the COVID pandemic, can either cause you to feel closer to your spouse or pull your relationship apart. As we continue COVID recovery, you may need to consider your options in regard to divorce. At Gordon & Perlut, LLC., our Arlington Heights divorce lawyer is here to help. Give us a call to request a confidential consultation today.