The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has affected our lives in so many ways; you’d have a hard time finding anyone whose life wasn’t impacted. Some of the noticeable effects include school closures, concert cancelations, business shutdowns, shorter grocery store hours, mass unemployment, and a reduction in burglaries and property-related crimes.
On the home front, stay-at-home orders (quarantines) have had a profound effect on some families. In fact, COVID-19 has affected family relationships and not necessarily for the better, but it’s no surprise. If spending 24 hours a day with your spouse has you daydreaming about your day in divorce court, you’re not alone and we’ll explain why. Here are the two main reasons why COVID-19 will likely increase the number of divorce filings once stay-at-home orders are lifted by state governments.
Spouses Who Can’t Handle Being Together 24/7
Some married couples do great when they can conduct their daily lives separately. They can each go to their own workplaces in the morning, pursue their individual careers, have lunch with co-workers, and spend some time on the weekends with their kids or friends, or both. Such couples may love each other, but they don’t want to be around each other 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
For some couples, they are already unhappy but they make it work because they spend as little time as possible with each other. In any case, couples who suddenly spend every waking minute with each other may quickly learn that they don’t like the person they’re married to very much, if at all. If a couple was already on the fence about the marriage, a forced quarantine can put a rocky marriage on the fast-track to divorce.
Domestic Violence in a Pandemic
The other way COVID-19 is impacting marriages is in its link to domestic violence. For many abused women and children, they can take a break while their abusive husbands and fathers are away at work. But now with abusers being around their families full-time, it’s led to a surge in domestic violence across the nation and many women and children are not safe as they’re forced to spend every waking minute with their abusers.
“As the nation grapples with the spread of COVID-19, Americans are being told to go home and stay there, for their safety and everyone else’s. But for victims and survivors of domestic violence, including children exposed to it, being home may not be a safe option — and the unprecedented stress of the pandemic could breed unsafety in homes where violence may not have been an issue before,” according to the American Psychological Association.
“We found social factors that put people more at risk for violence are reduced access to resources, increased stress due to job loss or strained finances, and disconnection from social support systems,” says Psychologist Josie Serrata, Ph.D. “With this pandemic, we’re seeing similar things happen, which unfortunately leads to circumstances that can foster violence.”
Has the pandemic affected your home life and personal relationships for the worse, causing you to want to file for divorce? If so, contact our firm immediately for the support you need.