Attorneys across the globe expect a wave of divorce filings when the COVID-19 restrictions lift and life returns to normal, but struggling couples can take measures now to reduce the strain on their marriages. The combination of the stress of quarantine and the closure of courts around the country is expected to create demand for divorce in the coming months.
Strain of Staying Home Hurts Marriages
In a typical marriage, one or both of the spouses leaves regularly to go to work or participate in activities. Even in marriages where the majority of the time is spent at home, couples have the opportunity to spend time with friends or pursuing hobbies outside the home. During the quarantine, these opportunities disappear. Today’s homes are not designed to double as workspaces, so couples are forced to learn to work while stuck together in the same house without a break. Any existing frustrations become amplified, and this leads to an increased desire for divorce.
Added Stress Creates More Struggle
In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has created stress for families and couples. Some are facing financial stress due to job furloughs or losses. Others struggle with health stress when someone becomes ill. The normal ways people relieve stress, such as hanging out with friends or working out at the gym, are no longer available, and this adds to the strain.
China is already seeing the repercussions of quarantine, as a significant rise in divorce numbers has occurred as the coronavirus nears its end in the country that started it. Many family law attorneys in the United States expect similar responses here.
How to Protect Against Coronavirus Divorce
Couples who wish to protect their marriages in this challenging time need to practice a few proactive steps. First, they need to plan ways to get alone time. Second, couples should still take dates, which are scheduled times to be together doing something fun. Date night may look different in quarantine, but it is still helpful. Finally, couples should strive to keep the lines of communication open to ensure their needs are still being met.
However, even the most well-meaning couples may find that the quarantine sheds light on conflicts that are simply not resolvable. In these instances, a family law attorney can help prepare the divorce paperwork, even while restrictions are still in place. Couples can seek a family law attorney that offers virtual consultations to start the process.