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Coronavirus and Rising Divorce Rates


Since the end of February, one government office in China has been bombarded with over 300 requests for divorce, an unprecedented number. Across the country, since the coronavirus outbreak, there has been a deluge of divorce requests.  What’s behind the staggering increase in couples seeking to split in China, and will we see a similar trend here in the United States?

Coronavirus and Social Distancing 

As Americans engage in more extensive social distancing, it turns out they are increasing the amount of time spent with their own families.  In China, strict quarantines had families isolated together for days, weeks, and even months.  While we have yet to experience anything quite so extreme, restrictions are mounting. School closures, requests to telecommute for work, and the cancellation of religious services, sporting events, and other large gatherings mean people are spending more time at home.  Grocery stores are running short on basic necessities, to boot.  All of the mitigation efforts related to coronavirus have created an electric atmosphere, making it completely understandable that people are experiencing higher than ever levels of stress and anxiety.  Those feelings are likely to be exacerbated when people sense they are stuck at home with one another, with none of the usual escapes available to allow for decompression.  That can lead to disharmony, and, ultimately, the end of relationships.  Instead, why not face the stress head on?

Dealing with Disruption 

The magnitude of change in our daily lives is difficult to put into words.  We are all experiencing a disruption to routines, expectations, and activities.  According to epidemiologists, things are going to get worse before they get better.  Acknowledging that, just like coronavirus, stress is contagious, is the first step in proactively dealing with the anxiety associated with the times.  Here are some basic ideas to help going forward:

  • Tune into yourself and your spouse, noting signs of stress like agitation, withdrawal, use of alcohol to relax, or other telltale indicators;
  • Approach your partner in a loving way to discuss what you’re seeing;
  • Spend time actively listening to your partner’s concerns;
  • Provide comfort, above all else;
  • After a soothing conversation, move on to potential solutions to concerns;
  • Spend quality time together exercising, reading together, playing cards, or working on projects;
  • Take time to de-stress with bubble baths, books, puzzles, or other activities that work for you;
  • Make a point of regularly monitoring stress levels and discuss ways to help one another with feelings of powerlessness and anxiety;
  • Put more focus on serving your partner than on making demands. You’ll quickly see that it not only reduces stress for your partner; it will make you feel better too.

Unite in Dark Times 

In these unparalleled times of trouble, it’s crucial for couples, families, and communities to unite in an effort to protect and love one another.  As we struggle with uncertainty and fear, the Baltimore divorce lawyers at the Law Office of Hasson D. Barnes wish for good health and harmony for you and yours.




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