Divorces Surge in the Age of the Coronavirus
Due to the Coronavirus, many states have ordered their citizens to stay at home in order to avoid the spread of the virus which has caused a financial halt throughout the country that has left many uneasy about the future. As a result of many being stuck at home working remotely or being laid off, many attorneys are predicting a surge in the divorce rates in the next several months. People are stuck at home together with their spouses which doesn’t help if a couple already has a strained relationship. The stress of a strained relationship and the outbreak of COVID-19 are going to put many marriages to the test.
For example, in China, couples have already been cooped up together for several months and the divorce rates have skyrocketed as a result. Many attorneys around the United States are seeing the same uptick in the number of people reaching out for consultations and advice on how to handle being stuck together with their spouse. The current situation surrounding COVID19, the uncertain state of the economy, and being stuck at home have made many people realize that their relationships are over or cannot survive isolation.
The financial state of the economy and people’s personal finances are also a huge part of why relationships dissolve. Without an outlet or time apart, the prospect of losing their job or not being able to pay rent can cause many couples to argue. Because many people may be uneasy about whether they can financially survive over the next several months, people may choose to hold off on starting the divorce process. A divorce can be an expensive process depending on the assets that the parties hold, how litigious the parties will be, etc., but there is a financial incentive to moving forward with your divorce during this time. Many of your finances and assets are set in stone on the day you file your divorce. Therefore, due to the uncertain economy and its effects on a person’s assets, it may be advantageous if you are the higher paid spouse to file for divorce now while your assets are low and before they begin to rise again after the COVID19 crisis is over. On the other hand, if you are the lower paid spouse, you may want to wait until after the pandemic so that your assets can recover.
Not only is the coronavirus a growing factor for why divorce rates may spike, but also it is going to have a major effect on people already divorced. Many people are not going to be able to see their children during this crisis and have to forego parenting time. People may have lost their jobs and will not be able to pay alimony or child support. The amount of post-judgment enforcement and change of circumstances cases will more than likely increase due to the fact that people’s lives have been put on hold indefinitely.
Luckily, the New Jersey Superior Court Family Division is still taking filings through the current crisis. If you are in need of a divorce or you have not been receiving child support for your exspouse, you are still able to seek relief from the Court through telephone and video conferences. Please see our other blogs on how the Court is staying on top of its caseload in light of the COVID-19 crisis.
If you and your spouse have realized that you want a divorce or you have questions/need advice on how to handle your family law issues during the current crisis, please contact the experienced family law attorneys of Dalena & Bosch to schedule a consultation to discuss your needs and goals.