As many experts predicted would happen, the divorce rate has risen significantly throughout the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic. The long-term shutdowns and closures caused many couples to be stuck at home with each other for months at a time, and in relationships that already had a fair amount of tension, this has led to more people deciding to call it quits.
One study from Legal Templates indicated the number of people who filed for divorce from March through June 2020, when stay-at-home orders were at their peak, was 34 percent higher than it was in the same period in 2019.
Many people have experienced extremely elevated stress since the start of the pandemic. Unemployment and hits to the market have caused some significant financial strain. Parents who have been working from home have also been forced to take on dual roles as educators while children are learning virtually. There’s also the ever-looming threat of illness and death of loved ones to consider.
All of these added stressors can put a significant strain on relationships. According to the study, approximately 31 percent of couples admitted the confinement to close quarters caused irreparable damage to their relationships.
The peak day for filing for divorce or separation was April 13, about a month into the first lockdowns issued by states. Newlyweds were the group hit hardest by the pandemic—approximately 20 percent of the couples who sought a divorce had been married were married within the previous five months, compared to 11 percent in the same time period in 2019. States in the so-called Bible Belt also had higher levels of divorce, particularly in states like Arkansas and Alabama.
While divorce rates were expected to level off later in the summer and fall as people returned to work and at least some semblance of normalcy returned, it is likely that 2020 will see an uptick in divorce figures in the United States for the first time in some time.
For more information about the steps to take in your divorce, contact an experienced Minnesota divorce lawyer at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.
"Tori had a thorough understanding of my situation and made excellent recommendations to resolve my concerns. She was persistent on communication and handled everything in a very timely manner. I would definitely hire her again in the future if needed." - M.K.
"With Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., it is like having a family physician. They are all knowledgeable, thorough, comforting, and the only call I need to make for all my legal needs for many years to come. No matter what the matter, I totally trust their advice and commitment to me and my family." - J.N.
"Mary from APH Law helped me thru a difficult divorce. She and the entire staff was there for me every step of the way helping me on what to do next. They listened to what I wanted and helped me achieve what matter the most to me in the divorce settlement." - Dana C.
"I chose APH after my initial consultation with Mary. I felt my best interest would be represented. The entire process went excellent, the attorneys and staff communicated effectively and efficiently with me throughout the process as they needed to. Being new to the legal process and verbiage, they walked me and talked me through the next steps and the jargon, I felt completely comfortable and represented. I hope I never have to use legal services again but if I do I will call Mary at APH Law and know that I will be taken care of." - Jeff M.
"Divorce is a time of emotion and stress. Mary Pfeifer , My lawyer was professional and compassionate. She was very informative through the process. Her insight helped me in my decisions. She worked hard to obtain a settlement which was fair to both parties. Though, I hope I won't need her help again. It is reassuring to know a good person that is willing to help." - Rod S.
"I first came to Ms. Jacquelyn Lutz of Appelhof, Pfeifer and Hart in October of 2016. It was definitely the worst time in my life and she compassionately spoke with me about my options. Ms. Lutz thoroughly explained the laws, statutes, process and what to expect going forward. What was supposed to be one case, turned into three intricate cases that took a huge toll on me and my family. Ms. Lutz represented me in court on all three cases with a vast knowledge of the laws and how to proceed accordingly. During all three cases she kept me informed, calm, gave me resources to utilize, and (most important) gave me a realistic view of what may come next. Ms. Lutz knew each case required a great deal of knowledge and creative thinking on how to legally proceed forward with each case. My family and friends are forever grateful for the amazing representation by Ms. Lutz. I highly recommend Ms. Lutz for anyone needing or considering superb representation for any kind of family law. " - M.H.