Divorce attorneys across the county have witnessed a sharp increase in divorce filings and domestic violence matters since Covid ravaged the United States in early 2020. Couples that were on the brink of separation were catapulted into a jail-like setting with lockdowns and unemployment at an all-time high. The uncertainty caused many to wait for a few months to decide whether or not to separate when Covid first stuck but then created a surge of divorce filings because people realized that life was too short to remain in an unhappy and untenable marriage. Now, with Omicron spreading like wildfire, the question becomes will unhappy spouses begin the typical January surge for divorce filings as one of their New Year’s resolutions or will we see a hold until the virus calms down?
Many think that with millions of people being vaccinated and the health impact appearing to be somewhat less harsh for many, people will not wait to divorce. In addition, many companies are better prepared for this resurgence and can continue to employ many without worldwide terminations or layoffs. Covid and its variants have caused a small pause in the world of marriage. However, it appears that once a spouse decides the relationship is over, Covid won’t stop them from leaving their marriage and filing for divorce even if it is a very stressful time.
Interestingly, most people begin preparing to file for divorce months before the holidays approach and trigger in January as part of a New Year’s resolution. Many wait to start the divorce process after the holidays so that they can enjoy time off with their children during the holidays and start the new year with a plan for a second chance. Most attorneys see January as one of the busiest months with thousands of spouses ending their marriages within the first two weeks. Many dub January the “Divorce Month” and the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers has noted the rise in divorce filings is one-third higher in January. Regardless of the Covid virus and variants impacting so many, most divorce attorneys believe that we will be bracing for a surge in divorces this January as the reality is that this virus is here to stay in some form or another and that life is worth living with someone that you love and enjoy spending time with. If you are contemplating divorce make sure that you get educated and understand that your options are plentiful. Some include filing for divorce, retaining a mediator to help with your issues together, executing a cut-off agreement to set an end date of the marriage without running into Court or trying to work things out through counsel by way of a written agreement and/or directly with your spouse. If your New Years' resolution is to divorce, remember, you have choices and good attorneys can properly guide you through an emotionally difficult process.