Although divorces have steadily been increasing in past years and decades, the percentage of marriages that are ending since the pandemic has skyrocketed. This is due to many factors, but the bad news is that lockdowns are proving to influence marriages and have led to an increase in domestic violence. However, there’s still been an overall decline in divorce over time. According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are currently approximately 1,676,911 marriages.
Causes of Higher Divorce Rates
The pandemic and lockdowns have caused increased stress in marriages, which has led to conflict and made it difficult for many couples to remain committed to one another. Political discord and financial strain are additional causes that are contributing to the increase in divorces around the world. Today, the average marriage lasts 8.2 years, which has increased by one year from the past, according to the census bureau.
Some couples even started sleeping in separate bedrooms to reduce the risk of infection with COVID-19, which caused partners to separate from one another and begin spending more time apart. Spending more time alone in the same setting during lockdowns also amplified the problems that many couples were already facing before the pandemic began. Couples that had different personalities were more likely to experience conflict while spending so much time together and while isolated from the rest of the world.
“Sadly, the stress couples are facing these days is too much for their relationship,” says Robert Sparks, a Tampa Bay, FL attorney. “The number of divorce cases we’re seeing is discouraging, indeed.”
Additional factors that aren’t related to the economy and the pandemic include limited education and income, coming from divorced families, and premarital pregnancy. Remarriage is one of the leading causes of divorce. The chances of staying married significantly decrease with each marriage for the average person, especially if both partners have been previously married.
Issues related to finances continue to be one of the leading causes of divorce. When each partner has different priorities regarding how they manage their money, it can be difficult to find common ground. Many people who were already struggling with employment prior to the pandemic hit hard times once many establishments started shutting down due to the pandemic, specifically in industries that include tourism, hospitality, retail, and leisure.
Although the pandemic had a negative effect on many couples, data show it also brought other couples closer together. Some separated couples even chose to reunite and recommit their lives together after living in quarantine to keep their children and family under the same roof. The increase in quality time that was spent together caused many couples to have more appreciation for their partners and strengthen their bond.
More Couples are Getting Married
Although there have been a lot of challenges in the world in recent years, more couples are also getting married. Studies show that more couples got married in 2018 compared to 1960. This can also be due to the larger population that is now present.
The Divorce Rate Is Still Lower Than in the Past
Many people are surprised to learn that the divorce rate is still lower than ten years ago. There was a spike in divorces in 2011, but the rate has leveled out and is still lower than in history.
Surprisingly, many older couples are now filing for divorce, which is called a “gray divorce.” The divorce rate of couples over the age of 50 has doubled. Divorce among couples over the age of 65 has also tripled. Gray divorces are more common due to older women who are now more financially independent than in the past. More people are also living a lot longer, which allows them to think they still have time to live their life how they prefer. Many law firms have a media kit available that helps couples navigate and prepare for the process of filing for divorce.
Individuals Who Have a Lower Risk of Divorce
An American community survey shows that the marriage rate among college educated individuals is a lot higher, possibly due to more economic stability. Low-income couples experience more instability and stress, which can account for the higher divorce rates in the United States in their class. Adult children who have parents that are still married also have a lower risk of divorce. Young couples close to the age of 18 are also at a higher risk of contributing to the divorce statistics.
Some people are still waiting longer to tie the knot due to a lack of a stable job or the lack of funds for a wedding. As a recession has started to occur in the U.S., it’s likely that more couples will put off marriage and wait until there’s more economic certainty. Although there’s been a drop in divorces, the drop in marriages can also cause there to be a wide gap in the marriage divide in the foreseeable future.