What the Potentially Increased Rates of Divorce Following COVID-19 Mean for Families.

The events and outcomes surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic have been an eye-opening experience for many Canadians. The virus has impacted everything from our health to our jobs, turning life as we know it upside down. While there are unfortunate outcomes of the COVID-19 virus, the impact that the virus has had on families is often a less discussed topic. The stress of COVID-19 has led many to wonder if we can expect to see an increase in divorce rates as couples learn to deal with disruption in our routines and changes to family roles. 

Many families and couples are not accustomed to spending the hours of the working day together, let alone every weekend and evening.  Families are struggling with financial woes as a result of job instability, and boredom, which is creating high-stress home environments and emotional conflict. Forced to spend time together, on top of job stress and health concerns arising from the ongoing pandemic, is enough to put strain on any relationship.

What does this potential for increased divorce rates mean for BC families? 

BC families are fortunate that lawyers and law firms are considered an essential service and have remained available for virtual meetings. Having access to a lawyer is a start to understanding the legal implications and practical considerations of filing for divorce and whether it is the course of action they wish to pursue.

If a couple decides to file for divorce, they must consider the implication of the time that we are currently living in. Finding new housing arrangements is difficult in the best of times, let alone during a pandemic. Staying with a relative or a friend becomes substantially more complicated due to everyone's desire to remain socially distant. Families with children also have child care and custody considerations. With work being less stable for many people, finding a way to balance spousal support payments and look after children becomes increasingly difficult.

While it will be some time before statistics show us the rate of divorces in relationship to COVID-19, we can expect to see cases resulting from the stress of a pandemic. Choosing to file for divorce is an unfortunate but serious life decision. If you and your spouse are considering a separation, contact a lawyer right away. Understanding the separation process is the first step to ensuring an amicable and fair split.

Doug Simpson is a Partner at CBM Lawyers where he exclusively practices Family Law. Doug believes that each client has a unique set of needs and strives to find the best legal solution for each client on a case by case basis. Learn more about Doug at cbmlawyers.com/our-lawyers/doug-simpson