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What the Pandemic Taught Us About Marriage & Divorce


Divorce has never been an easy experience, and it’s reasonable to expect that it never will be easy. Couples who divorced during the height of the pandemic in 2020 could teach a masterclass on the hazards and best tips for surviving a divorce during these changing times. While the world seems to be going back to normal, it looks as if we will always be changed by the experience. Many couples found their marriages were among the first casualties of the pandemic, and here are a few of the main takeaways from those experiences.

5 Things Couples Learned Seeking Divorce During the Pandemic

While it may seem like there’s nothing new to learn about divorce, it’s always helpful to be reminded of what we may have forgotten. Divorce is hard, and the last year didn’t change the experience – it amplified it. We’ve compiled some of the major takeaways for couples ending their marriages to consider.

  • Unhappiness Isn’t a Reason to Get Divorced: Many couples found that while they felt their unhappiness was the result of a spouse or failing marriage, it was often something different. Just because you’re unhappy in your marriage, it doesn’t mean a divorce will fix it. It’s likely your spouse isn’t the problem, and you may need to do the work to find out what is causing your unhappiness before ending your marriage. The pandemic highlighted how unhappiness from a different source could taint a marriage and lead to divorce.
  • There Are No Good Reasons to Stay in a Bad Marriage: For many years, people stayed in unhappy marriages for the children, for financial security, or companionship. The pandemic reminded us how short life is and how life can change in a moment. For couples enduring the pandemic while stuck inside their homes in a toxic married relationship, it became painfully clear that there are no good reasons to endure a bad marriage. The pandemic amplified how bad a bad marriage could be and for some couples trying to “make it work,” the effort became untenable.
  • Financial Messiness Can Stop the Process: For couples who were ready to pull the ripcord on their marriage early in the pandemic, the financial implications of divorcing during that time hit home fast. Financial messiness is always a negative, but it can be a serious setback when preparing for a divorce. Many couples found they could not afford to leave toxic relationships during the pandemic, and financial problems ended up compounding stressful marital woes.
  • Children Should Always Be a Joint Effort: The work-from-home realities of the pandemic exposed an imbalance in parenting issues for many households. Moms took the brunt of the pandemic job loss or downgrade trends; most of these losses or changes in status were due to childcare issues. Divorcing parents quickly realized that childcare and co-parenting issues looked very different in a socially distant virtual schooling reality.
  • Stability is an Internal Factor: Crazy things happen around us all the time. During the pandemic, families learned that no matter how cumbersome the restrictions or frightening the health scare became, a stable family life made the situation easier to handle. It also means the converse was true. If your family life is chaos, the external chaos was unbearable. For the couples and families unable to make it through the pandemic intact, the chaos introduced by the pandemic was more than their strained familial bonds could withstand.

Knowledgeable and Thoughtful Divorce Representation

If the pandemic has exposed the weaknesses in your marriage. Our knowledgeable legal team can listen to the details of your case and create a strategy for your situation. The lawyers at William Kirby Law are thoughtful and considerate, and we understand the stress and emotional toll divorce can have on families. Call us at (215) 515-9901 to schedule a consultation.