Every year, there are countless news articles and stories about divorce rates in the U.S. They talk about increasing divorce rates and how high the divorce rates in the U.S. are compared to other countries. However, this year, these stories have increased numbers as the divorce rate is reaching historic rates.

By the numbers

Anecdotally, family law experts have noticed divorce inquiries increase by over 20%. Indeed, a study by the National Law Review found that the divorce rate had spiked by 34% by April of 2020, when compared to April of 2019. That is a staggering number because the period from January to April are historically the height of divorces in a given year. And, remember, most courts were shut down for much, if not all, of April.

Forced togetherness and no entertainment

For most married couples, they have never spent 24/7 together. Instead, they spent eight to 10 hours away at work, spent time at the gym, with friends, at the movies, etc. The couples’ together time were mostly spent in the evening time, talking about the day with, perhaps, a nice glass of wine. This meant that lingering issues and problems could be hidden behind the veneer of time spent with others or at entertainment events. Not so for 2020.

Instead, 2020, has forced couples to spend 24/7 together and eliminated all in-person entertainment. Home life is now a pressure cooker of both spouses working in often cramped quarters, combined with juggling childcare and schooling. The work and home wall has been destroyed this year, and many couples have not been able to handle it. And, for some especially unlucky couples, they have the added stressors of losing jobs and lives.

Silver linings

This year has not been all bad for Roseland, New Jersey, residents though. For some, the elimination of business travel and long commutes have given couples a chance to work on their relationships and focus on their families. These times have been a refresh button for their marriages. For others, though, these times have highlighted issues and forced couples to face them. Even if this results in a divorce, the silver lining is that facing these issues now, rather than later in life, saved these couples years, if not decades, of pain and anguish. They can move on happier and start their new life sooner.