Will Divorce Filings Surge Due to COVID-19?


If distance makes the heart grow fonder, what about spending 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with your significant other? Will that do the opposite and make the heart grow more bitter? Ask any divorce attorney and they’ll say that divorce filings tend to surge in the fall after people have spent summer vacations together and in January after couples have spent more time together over the holidays. Do relationship experts and divorce lawyers think the same thing will happen after stay-at-home orders are canceled and couples come out of quarantine? Many think so.

When things are normal, couples can conduct their normal everyday lives separately. They can go to their own places of work and focus on their individual careers. He can hit the gym while she takes her favorite yoga and Pilates classes. He can head to Utah on a camping trip while she hits a spa on the Strip with her girlfriends.

He can have a night out with the guys after work as she has her regular Friday lunch with her closest friends. Then, when it comes to date night, the couple enjoys catching up with each other and sharing their week’s events. But when a couple’s life comes to a grinding halt and suddenly they’re spending every waking minute together, dynamics can change and not for the better.

To My Spouse: I Don’t Like You Anymore

For some married couples, a healthy distance is good for their marriage, and spending every minute together does the exact opposite. This is an issue that isn’t limited to American couples; it applies everywhere. In China, for example, once couples were released from quarantine, the number of divorce filings surged, but here in the U.S., the writing is already on the wall.

Across the country, many law firms are fielding calls as we speak from spouses who are sick and tired of being stuck in the same house as their husbands and wives. And since family courts have virtually shut down, we sense there will be a mad dash to the courthouse when stay-at-home orders are lifted.

For many couples, it’s the combination of confinement, fighting kids, and financial stress that’s pushing them to the breaking point. Think about couples that are stuck in a house. When you imagine one or both spouses have been laid off and they have kids and it’s loud and they’re tired and everybody is experiencing fear, and they have poor coping skills, it’s not surprising that domestic violence calls have risen accordingly.