According to surveys conducted by Dating and Relationship Coach Lee, COVID-19 seems to have brought about an increase in potential divorce rates.
Experts believe that the additional traumatic stressors that have been created by the virus are being projected onto couples' relationships. Nowadays, married couples are forced to spend 24/7 together without any space of their own, while simultaneously dealing with unemployment, childcare and homeschooling, and the potential of viral infection amongst many other anxiety inducers.
Legal Templates, an online company whose mission is to "simplify the process of creating legal contracts," has seen a 34% increase in the sale of their divorce agreement documents. From these documents, Legal Templates have been able to generate a copious amount of data concerning grounds for divorce in this current time.
The data showed that the largest influx of divorce contract purchases occurred only three weeks after the quarantine had begun in most states. A 57% increase from the same time in 2019, an inflation experts believe is due to the entering of the "disillusionment phase" of the "Phases of Disaster - the time when optimism turns to discouragement, stress heightens, and negative reactions often occur."
Of the demographic of couples who have been subject to this "disillusionment phase," those who have been married for shorter amounts of time were hit hardest. Newlywed couples (those married within the last 5 years) pursuing divorce experienced a 16% increase from the previous year to 58% this year. Additionally, newlyweds married within the last five months experienced the greatest increase from 11% to 20%.
Along with newlyweds, couples in southern states and those with children aged younger than 18, have struggled particularly hard with maintaining their marriages. Southern couples pursued divorce at a rate two to three times greater than couples in other parts of the US, a statistic experts believe may be linked to the higher percentage of the workforce employed in "high-risk of layoff occupations." The number of couples with children seeking divorce experienced a 5% increase from the previous year as well.
Clearly stressors brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic have had a great impact on families, bringing about higher divorce rates across the US. As this crisis continues to unfold, it is also possible for divorce rates to continue to increase as the world deals with the continued economic, social, and psychological effects of the virus.