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In a recent blog, I wrote about the impact of the coronavirus on parents with child custody arrangements. However, child custody isn't the only legal matter impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many family lawyers also expect the divorce rate to surge across the country. 

Here in San Diego and across the US, states are beginning to reopen. As the city starts to reopen and the public gains access to previously closed businesses, individuals trapped in unhappy marriages may begin filing for divorce. 

Surging post-quarantine divorce rates in China and the economic and social impact of COVID-19 on the US all set a precedent that could lead to a significant spike in divorce soon. 

China's Post-COVID Divorce Spike—Setting a Precedent?

Bloomberg reported that, after quarantines lifted in China, the number of divorce filings reached record highs in cities across the nation. Xian and Danzhou, cities in central China, reported backlogs at government offices because the cities couldn't process divorce filings quickly enough. In Miluo, clerks were so busy they didn't even have time to drink water between processing divorce filings. Lines formed outside of government offices around the country. 

Many family lawyers in the US suspect that the country will experience a similar spike in the divorce rate as quarantines and stay-at-home orders lift. 

The San Diego court update:

Here is a little video I made updating the status of the Court. 

At the bottom of this post are some links for the San Diego Courts.

Why Would COVID-19 Increase the Divorce Rate?

There are several reasons the COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting quarantines and stay-at-home orders, may result in a surging divorce rate:

  • Spouses lose tolerance for one another. Many people get married under the assumption they'll be able to spend time alone or away from one another doing activities they enjoy. For some couples, being cooped up inside together without any outlet may exacerbate existing tensions in the relationship or create new ones. 

  • Financial instability often leads to divorce. A poll of over 2,000 British adults by law firm Slater and Gordon found that money problems topped the list of reasons why couples filed for divorce. Money problems, such as debt or financial instability, can end marriages quickly, and Americans have a problem when it comes to discussing money productively. Recent research found that in 34% of cohabiting US couples, one or both partners don't know how much money the other makes. 

It's no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic hit the US economy hard. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell recently predicted that the unemployment rate could spike as high as 25% before the pandemic is over, a rate not seen since the Great Depression. More than 20 million Americans are unemployed

Here is the general link for San Diego courts. It is updated on a regular basis with new changes based on COVID-19 guidelines in our area.,2053814&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL

Here is the link for services that are currently being provided by the court:

Here is the link for court information that is specific to family law and how current family law child custody orders are to be carried out: %20COVID%2019.PDF


If you're considering divorce or have child custody issues, I can help! I have over two decades of experience helping San Diego residents file for divorce and other family or criminal law-related matters. To learn more, contact my firm online or give me a call at (619) 304-8499.

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