As of this writing, the Coronavirus is still devastating the United States, with Florida being among the worst hot spots. A vaccine is potentially a year away and many families are struggling to recover from job loss/reduced hours, lack of childcare (further impacting work) and the lingering psychological effects of quarantine.
These harsh realities are likely obvious to anyone reading this blog. What may not be obvious are the consequences Covid-19 is having on many marriages in the United States. Family law attorneys in Florida have already seen a spike in consultations from potential clients seeking divorce. And because the pandemic is far from over, this could only get worse.
According to a news report from late last month, some attorneys have seen four times the typical number of requests for divorce consultations. These attorneys say that the initial quarantine period put significant strains on couples who were already struggling in their relationships. Spending so much time together only highlighted the problems and made them clearer. After the country began to “reopen,” many of these couples started the divorce process.
During quarantine, a practical concern for already-divorced parents was custody exchanges. The more that kids move between houses, the greater potential for spreading the virus. Therefore, disputes have arisen between co-parents who want to keep their children safe, but also to be with them as much as possible.
Many health experts are predicting additional periods of quarantine in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus and avoid overwhelming hospitals. Unfortunately, this means the divorce trend may continue or worsen as the pandemic lingers.
Hopefully, if and when future quarantines occur, all of us will be better prepared to ride them out safely and comfortably. But if your marriage is one of the many in trouble after the initial lockdown, now might be the time to explore your options by speaking to an experienced family law attorney.