We’ve been studying divorce rates for the entirety of this pandemic, and the news is hardly surprising. When coronavirus was first discovered and people began to succumb to COVID-19, divorce rates dropped. When people began to view COVID-19 as “over” around the middle of this year, people began to call it quits in greater numbers. Of course, COVID will probably never be over — not really. The virus and the disease it causes will likely be with us forever. We don’t yet know whether or not the ever-evolving variants of coronavirus will grow weaker over time. They might well grow stronger.
What does that mean for the institution of marriage — and divorce? We decided to hold a seminar with our friends at https://matteuccifamilylaw.com/ in New Mexico to discuss what we see as a social dynamic evolving just as fast as the coronavirus, if not faster.
Well, for starters, waiting to end a marriage can be bad for mental health. We always suggest that partners try to rehabilitate their marriage before dissolving it for good, but we’ve seen the consequences of staying in a toxic relationship. Who hasn’t?
According to one study, couples who met on a social app are actually more likely to divorce early after marrying, i.e. within the first three years. This mostly pertains to younger eligibles, such as those who are still in their 20s or 30s.
Both here in the United States and abroad in places like the United Kingdom, divorce is experiencing change. Because legal entities were forced to adapt to COVID, the post-COVID world will look very different from a legal standpoint. For example, no-fault divorce became both more common, and more easily obtained in or out of court. Many legal jurisdictions loosened previously restrictive laws to allow no-fault divorce in greater numbers.
That means if you’re looking to divorce a partner, you don’t have to place blame on them for adultery or the like. You can simply choose to dissolve the marriage for mostly any reason you like. Our law firm and the partners at Matteucci agree: divorce rates will climb in the coming months. We expect an early 2022 surge. Early-in-the-year divorces are common, but this will be different — this will be a rate hike like nothing we’ve ever experienced.
The reason? It’s simple, really. People want to make drastic changes in their lives. This seems to be the time to do it. The holidays have diminished divorce rates from earlier in the year, but not at the same rate seen in the last five holiday seasons. Experts see other indicators when predicting the surge. Take the recent wave of Americans quitting their jobs, for example. People have had more time to determine what they want in life. Many have made the decision to move, change jobs — and others have made the decision to start fresh with someone new.
Changes won’t always speed up the process involved in obtaining a divorce, but the rate hike seems imminent. Even though the holidays are coming, now might be the right time to drop the hammer.