Should we expect a rise in divorce filings to emerge in the wake of COVID-19? Experts are saying quarantine is driving couples six feet apart – even at home. Money worries, boredom, lack of escape, conflicts over the kids or chores are just some of the stresses that come with shelter-in-place orders, and they are causing couples to reconsider how they really feel about their partners. Let’s take a look at how these pressing agents are impacting marriages across the country.
Will there be more divorces because of COVID-19?
“So far there’s no official data to confirm this because it’s too early. But some lawyers and counselors report they’re fielding more calls from people who say they’re considering splitting up as soon as they get out of lock-down. Or even sooner.”
According to licensed marriage counselor Stacy Lee, “Couples are facing more challenges, they have less resources and a low bandwidth to manage all of this. Sadly, this is the perfect cocktail for increased divorce.”
“Just as we are seeing increases in domestic violence, anxiety, depression, unemployment, loss and grief, we will see an increase in divorce directly related to COVID-19. When our relationship with society is affected, our relationships with each other are, too,” says Dr. Venus Nicolino.
Can you still get a divorce during quarantine?
Yes, you can still get a divorce during a pandemic.* Most courts in California, including the Santa Barbara Superior Court, have transitioned to virtual courtrooms, replacing traditional in-person proceedings. Using video conferencing tools such as Zoom, your next court appearance may just occur in your living room.
*All courts are operating differently, check your local court website for more information.
Going to court for divorce will look different
The vast majority of courts in California, including the Santa Barbara Superior Court, have adopted video conferencing tools to conduct court hearings remotely. Although some courts are deeply rooted in tradition and reluctant to change, Judges using the video conferencing tools consider it to be a desirable substitute. Modernized courtrooms have found success and efficiency while using secure these platforms, such as Zoom and Court Call.
Will the pandemic be good for some couples?
According to lawyer Michelle Gervais, couples are making the decision to either stay together or break up based on the same reasons. “The two biggest indicators I’m seeing over the last three months is finances and kids being the reasons why people try to work it out. At the same time, others are (divorcing) for those same reasons.”
The attorneys at Drury Pullen, A Professional Law Corporation are available to assist you with your family law needs during these challenging times. Feel free to call us 24/7 at (805) 879-7523 and leave a message if you do not reach a live person. Calls will be returned as they are received. You are also welcome to contact us via the Contact Us page on our website. We remain available to our clients and community with remote services such as court filings, negotiations, mediation and emergency services. Please follow us on Instagram @CaliforniaDivorce and come back to this blog for more information.