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Pandemic Pushes Divorce Rate Up

WebMD – The coronavirus pandemic is straining many marriages — some to the breaking point.

There are signs that the divorce rate is rising as couples struggle with the emotional and economic fallout of the past 11 months.

Divorce filings rose dramatically in China after the COVID lockdown ended there in March.

In the U.S., sales of online self-help divorce agreements rose by 34% this spring compared to last year, and family lawyers surveyed in April and July reported a 25% to 35% increase in requests to start divorce proceedings compared to the same time in 2019.

“My firm is hearing a lot of complaints about bad behaviors during the coronavirus pandemic, such as substance abuse and pornography, which are unhealthy releases for relationships.

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In a recent case, one spouse just left and started another romantic relationship without even attempting to cover it up,” says Susan Myres, JD, immediate past president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and senior partner at Myres & Associates in Houston.

Divorce and family lawyers who participated in the April and July surveys from the marriage lawyers group also referred to:

  • “the impact of being together 24/7 as a result of stay-at-home orders,”
  • “clients have more time to think about their situation,” and
  • “craziness of this pandemic is leading people to more insanity.”

Disagreements Over COVID-19 Risk

“Never has disease transmission been an issue in custody exchanges before,” says Peter Walzer, JD, founding partner of Walzer Melcher LLP in Los Angeles and a past-president of the AAML.

Some divorced parents who share custody of children are insisting on COVID-19 tests before a shared babysitter or tutor can come over.

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Never has disease transmission been an issue in custody exchanges before.

Divorced parents in blended families may also have different ideas about mask wearing or social distancing … Read more. 

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