By Carole Orland, Esq.
The question I am now most often asked: Did COVID cause a rise in divorces?
The answer is: It is hard to define it.
For some couples who were on the cusp of divorce prior to the pandemic, being confined at home for months with each other and with kids, further exacerbated the tension. Not getting out to the office and to social and recreational activities, led to increased hostilities. Many experienced an increase in alcohol or drug consumption while at home, which further strained relationships. We have repeatedly seen this scenario in our rise in divorce cases.
For other couples who were teetering on divorce before COVID set in, they rediscovered and repurposed their relationship. Family values were rediscovered. There was a renewal of affection and commitment to each other and their family. Will it last? Some of these situations have crumbled now that life has returned from the depths of COVID. Divorce is once again imminent for many of these couples.
And for those who may not have contemplated divorce prior to COVID, resulting illness, isolation, work from home situations, substance abuse, mental health issues, kid challenges, and the “new normal,” have in some instances caused a recalibration of of marital relationships, leading to a break up and divorce.
So, almost two and half years into COVID, our office has been experiencing a rapid rise in divorce cases. How COVID May have provoked this rise, is a complicated answer but anecdotally, it appears there is a causal relationship in many cases.