Divorce is on the rise. Marriages are crumbling. These are the messages some media reports delivered in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s easy to believe this is true, particularly with the many challenges families have faced during shutdowns and stay-at-home orders. Stress has reached all-time highs for many married couples who have had to deal with financial hardships, job loss, and children staying home for virtual schooling.
The situation is not as dire as one might think. Although The Daily Mail reported, “Divorce rates in America soar by 34% during the COVID-19 pandemic…” this article was based on a 34% increase in one company’s online divorce agreement sales. The same article cited the results of an April 25, 2020 survey of just 734 people who were in serious relationships at the time, 31% of whom reported that the quarantine had harmed their relationships. These numbers may be disheartening, but they do not paint a clear picture of divorce rates in the U.S. at the time of the coronavirus.
Let’s take a closer look at divorce and marriage rates and how COVID-19 has affected them.
A Bowling Green State University study found that divorce and marriage rates actually declined in several states. The study was based on data released by five states: Arizona, Florida, Missouri, Oregon, and New Hampshire. Researchers compared monthly statistics from 2020 against marriage and divorce counts from 2018 and 2019.
Divorce rates in these five states do not guarantee similar results in other states, but they do offer a chance to consider how the pandemic has affected couples in different regions.
There is a lot of speculation as to why divorce and marriage rates declined in the first months of the pandemic, and why Arizona saw a slight increase in divorce from previous years.
Every marriage is different. Some couples may have been brought closer together during the pandemic, while others experienced hardships that forced them apart. At the Edgar & Dow, we are here to offer support and counsel regardless of your situation, needs, and concerns. We have focused exclusively on family law matters in Southern California since 2004 and are known for our personal attention and commitment to results. Despite the complexities COVID has presented to married couples everywhere, we are prepared to deliver the high-quality counsel you deserve every step of the way.
Call (888) 251-9618 today to learn more about our firm and how we can help you. You can also read our blog, California, COVID-19 & Divorce: What You Should Know, for more insight on this topic.
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