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New Study Claims that Divorces are Down During COVID


After eight months of non-stop media coverage concerning divorce rates during quarantine, a new study released by the Institute for Family Studies is claiming that divorce rates actually have gone down over the past months.

Statistics related to high divorce rates were based on the number of divorce petitions filed in court. Statistics related to this study were based on self-reported statistics compiled by the American Family Survey.

According to the survey, 58% of married partners said the pandemic has made them appreciate their partners more, while another 51% said that their love for their partner deepened during this period. The number of people reporting that their marriage was in trouble fell from 40% in 2019 to 29%.

State Divorce Trends 

The second part of the study dealt with state divorce trends. According to the study, divorce filings were down 19% in Florida. The study admits that these statistics may be skewed due to the fact that many divorces were held in limbo while the courts were closed. The study notes that there may be a surge in divorces once the courts are open again and divorces can be finalized, but also holds out hope that the reduced number of divorces will not be fully offset by the courts.

While this is clearly a family-based watchdog group that isn’t interested in lauding high divorce rates, the study makes several interesting comparisons. The best comparison is to the Great Recession when they also claim that divorce rates went down by about the same margin—20%. The study hypothesizes that economic stressors related to COVID made actually force more couples to stay together rather than split apart.

Does Hardship Strengthen or Destroy Marriages? 

The study clearly wants to make the point that highly stressful economic pressures can actually bring families closer together as they focus more on one another. This helps them develop a deeper appreciation for their family and, alternatively, causes them to focus more of their attention there than say, on their careers. The study also hypothesizes that spouses who make it through this period together, are more likely to have stronger bonds than those who don’t.

Who is Right? 

The study openly contradicts the media narrative that COVID-19 is claiming a larger-than-average number of marriages. The question that the study leaves open is whether or not these marriages are still intact because of trouble relating to filing for divorce or waiting for their divorce to be processed. Until we have complete information, the study has done its job insofar as it has cast doubt on the predominant narrative, and then 2021 should provide all the statistics we need to determine the impact of COVID on U.S. marriages.

Talk to a West Palm Beach Divorce Lawyer Today 

If your marriage is ending, then you may want to get the ball rolling on a divorce. Call West Palm Beach divorce attorneys at Bruce S. Rosenwater & Associates today to learn more about how we can help.


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