We compared how many people started a divorce in Houston in February of 2020, (prior to the Covid-19 Pandemic impacting the U.S.) to April (during the Covid-19 Pandemic impact).
We did not review the March divorce rate, since many were not impacted with work or school during at least the first week of March, so for data purposes, March was not as useful to review.
Since the Coronavirus Pandemic started seriously impacting the United States, in March, at least 5 people have said to me, as a divorce lawyer, that they bet divorce rates are going to sky rocket.
Couples, whether they want to or not, are now sometimes essentially finding themselved forced to spend substantially more time together.
And, some of what they may be finding is that there is no relationship there worth keeping.
But, so far, the divorce rate has only plunged downwards.
- Study Shows 83% Fewer People Started a Divorce In April 2020, During Coronavirus Pandemic Than in February of 2020. 17% 17%
(The divorce rate has dropped to 17% of What it Was Prior to the Pandemic).
1440 People Started a Divorce in Houston In February, 2020 (Prior to The Pandemic Impacting the U.S.)
Then, Dropping From 1440 Divorce Cases, Only 250 People Started a Divorce in Houston, in April, 2020 (During Covid-19 Crisis in the U.S.)
In the First Week of May, 2020 Only 13 People Filed For Divorce in Houston!
I suspect that the reason the divorce rate dropped by 83% in April of 2020, and is dropping so far even higher in May of 2020, is that actually starting a divorce requires a number of working parts.
First of course is the decision to be divorced, which can take a long time.
But then, there is the fact that at least one person will need a new home, a problem which is not as easy to solve during stay at home orders and a recession.
Money is certainly a factor in deciding to file a divorce. It costs money to do the divorce process, and then, perhaps more importantly, the couple will be in some manner, dividing up their own marital assets.
All of these, and many other factors may be playing a roll in the substantially low divorce rate during Covid-19, thus far.
I personally suspect the divorce rate will continue to be low during these initial months of coping with Covid-19 complications, and then will pick up to a higher than normal rate for a short time period, in order to make up for the couples that needed to file a divorce, but waited in order to stay home.