Divorce on the Rise Amid Coronavirus Pandemic, Especially for Newlyweds

September 4, 2020

    (KMOX) - The coronavirus pandemic has raised the stress levels of just about everyone and that's apparently taking a toll on marriages.

    Marriage counselor Judy Koehler is seeing the impact.

    "I'm not a statistician," she says, "but it does seem like business is booming."

    Legal Templates, a company that provides legal documents, says the number of people looking for divorces was up 34% from March to June. Thirty-one percent of the couples say the lockdown irreparably damaged their relationship.

    Koehler says it's not easy for couples to be together all the time, especially when one or both may be working from home.

    "Then you add the whole little addition of those other little bodies that are in the house," she says. "Trying to do homeschooling and work can be quite stressful on couples." 

    According to Legal Templates, newlyweds were hit the hardest. Their data revealed that 58% of users pursuing a divorce during the COVID-19 pandemic were married within the last five years. In 2019, only 11% of users were married for five months or less before purchasing a divorce agreement. During the same time period in 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 quarantine, that number nearly doubled to 20%.

    Koehler says restrictions caused by the virus are adding to the stress young couples are facing even before they tie the knot.

    "Just trying to figure out where you're going to have a reception. If you're going to have a reception. If you're going to have a virtual wedding. If part of it is going to be virtual. If you're going to invite Aunt Sally but not Uncle George," Koehler says.

    To save a marriage, Koehler says you need to realize the pandemic is going to end, eventually, and to communicate.

    "A lot of times, particularly the guys are afraid of adding added stress to their wives or partners," Koehler says. "It doesn't help to keep those emotions to yourself."

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