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Stay-at-Home Order Causes Florida Divorce Rates to Rise

On Behalf of | Apr 17, 2020 | Firm News

COVID-19 is sweeping the globe, and Florida is no exception. The state government has told families to stay at home. Couples are now living in close quarters 24 hours a day. While many expected there to be some element of disruption, one consequence has been an increase in separations.

Couples are finding their relationships breaking down without the usual distractions of work, socializing, and other activities outside the home. Florida’s overall divorce rate is relatively low, at just 3 percent. However, with the state asking partners to stay at home together for extended periods, it’s likely the percentage will increase.

Emergency Filings Only

Because of the coronavirus restrictions, most courts are currently only permitting emergency filings. However, couples have already started to contact attorneys and are ready to file as soon as the courts reopen.

The evidence from clerks’ offices across the state shows that filings for divorce have remained relatively steady over recent months. Yet, this isn’t necessarily a sign that relationships are surviving the crisis. Lawyers statewide have received calls from people desperate to get the ball rolling on their splits. In most cases, they’re just waiting to file until they can obtain a court date.

Is the Pandemic Causing Divorce?

It’s unlikely that the pandemic is the cause of more divorces. Rather, it’s more likely to be the catalyst that pushes already volatile relationships over the precipice. Couples who were already experiencing problems have reached breaking points under the new pressure. These couples will be causing the spike in Florida’s divorce rate once the courts reopen.

It’s easy to see why COVID-19 is pushing couples already in crisis in their relationships toward divorce. Stress levels are running high everywhere. This is taking a severe toll on communication between partners. Couples forced to spend 24/7 in close proximity are inevitably going to disagree and come into conflict. When those couples are already going through marital difficulties, it’s no wonder that separation is in the cards.

We’ve already seen a spike in the number of divorce filings in China because of the coronavirus lockdown. The cities of Dazhou and Xian saw record highs in the number of divorce filings once they came out of lockdown. So much so, in fact, that backlogs occurred at government facilities.

On the upside, although the divorce rate is ready to spike, the number of protective or restraining orders is down. With bars closed, the opportunity simply isn’t there for many problematic situations to arise.

A Guide For Commencing Divorce Proceedings

Do you believe your marriage has reached the end of the road in the current crisis? Then you’ll need to know how to proceed. Before deciding to call it quits, though, take some time to think the situation through. Filing at the moment is off the table because of coronavirus restrictions. But there’s almost certainly going to be an upsurge in filings once the state has lifted the stay-at-home measures. You’ll need to be sure you’re ahead of the litigation surge by being ready to quickly file your paperwork. Therefore, once you’re sure that divorce is the right course of action, it’s time to contact a Florida divorce attorney.