Divorce Rates Are on the Rise Amid Pandemic

Just as we expected, coronavirus is destroying marriages everywhere

The COVID divorce spike seems to have peaked in April, but we're not out of the woods yet.
Getty Images/EyeEm

From phone sex to glory holes, it seems all our coronavirus predictions are coming true, including the one about skyrocketing divorce rates. As foretold in many a coronavirus prophecy, new data found divorces have increased significantly in recent months as pandemic lockdowns force couples to spend unprecedented amounts of time together.

New data collected by Legal Templates, a company that provides legal documents, found the number of people seeking divorces between March and June was up 34 percent compared to last year, with 31 percent of those couples pointing to lockdown as a direct cause of damage to their relationships.

Interest in separation peaked in mid-April, which the report suggests could be attributed to what health professionals have called the “disillusionment phase” of the Phases of Disaster, AKA “the time when optimism turns to discouragement, stress heightens, and negative reactions often occur.”

The report also found that recently married couples were more likely to consider divorce amid the crisis than those that had been together longer, with 20 percent of divorce-seeking couples having wed within the past five months. This was nearly double the 11 percent of newlyweds who sought divorces by that point in their marriages last year.

And while divorce rates seem to have peaked months ago, that doesn’t mean married couples are out of the woods yet. According to the report, “It’s possible that divorce rates will continue to rise as economic, financial, social, institutional, and psychological turmoil from the COVID-19 virus unfolds.” So if the pandemic hasn’t destroyed your personal life yet, don’t feel left out. It will come for us all eventually.

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