When we look back on the COVID-19 Pandemic, what non-health related statistics will come with it? Which ones will stand out? If the United States follows suit with China, divorce rates will be on the rise. Is it possible that being confined with your spouse for an extended period of time can turn a happy and healthy marriage bad or is it more of a contributor to existing issues? There are many different perspectives on the impact of confinement on a marriage, but it is likely these past few months of sheltering in place have amplified problems already existing in some marriages.

While working from home may now seem like the “new normal”, it has not been without its problems for some.  Couples went from being at their respective places of work during the day to now having very few moments apart. Some are at home with just their spouse, while others are at home with multiple children, their spouse, and pets all while trying to balance working from home and being a parent. For those that received layoff notices, living through a global pandemic can seem unimaginable, but to lose your source of income on top of it is something that many people were unprepared for. Financial stress combined with confinement could push some marriages to a breaking point. Though some states are beginning to lift restrictions, the financial stress caused for some by the pandemic is unlikely to go away anytime soon. 

Communication can be key to a happy and healthy marriage, but how do you continue to effectively and calmly communicate with someone that you are now forced to spend most, if not all, your time with? How do you adapt to both you and your spouse having to work in the only office in your house? How do you entertain the children long enough to get your work done and make sure they do not interrupt your workday? These are just a few things that have been a struggle for some couples during this time. If there were communication problems in a marriage prior to this pandemic, this forced confinement is unlikely to have helped.

However, there is a bright side. This confinement forced by the Stay at Home Order has helped in some marriages and given many the ability to resolve their issues rather than seek separation or divorce. Families have been able to spend more time together than ever now that their normally busy lives have been put on hold. Some couples have used this time to seek clarity in their relationship and define roles moving forward to better their marriage overall.

If you or someone you know has found themselves in one of the situations mentioned above and needs to seek counsel, we are here to help. Our attorneys are ready to answer any questions you or someone you know may have. We offer remote consults and can maintain all health and safety guidelines while still addressing your concerns. Contact us to schedule a consultation.

This post was written by Hatcher Law Group attorney Danielle Garon.