Divorce Rates Swell Amidst COVID Pandemic 

taking ring off finger

Unlocking misconceptions about divorce that can take the pressure off. 

A whole industry of divorce lawyers and marriage counselors are bracing for a spike in divorce filings once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. It could be months or years until we begin to get a grasp on the true impact that quarantining will have on America’s divorce rate and the U.S. court system, but the data that is becoming available is not encouraging. 

In the later months of summer 2020, Legal Templates – a company that provides legal documents – reported a 34% increase in sales of their divorce agreement legal documents compared to the late summer months of 2019. In addition, the sharp increase in the number of users seeking Legal Template’s services has provided surprising information about why so many people seem motivated to end their marriages. Legal Templates suggest the information that they’re collecting “won’t be available from government sources or scientific studies for years to come.” 

The data reveals that:

  • The rate of divorcing couples with children increased compared to 2019;
  • Couples in southern states were far more likely to seek a divorce;
  • Newlyweds were hit hardest by a significant margin; and
  • The number of life insurance policies and payouts required in divorce settlements skyrocketed.

Divorce can be a painful life transition, so learning the truth about the process is vital to saving money and reducing stress. Yet, in an age when nearly 50% of first marriages end in divorce already, myths about divorce still prevail. In the age of instant information access, people simply cannot afford a lack of understanding of how divorce can damage your financial future  both short- and long-term. So, we’re here to dispel some of the more common divorce misconceptions.



For some reason people have the idea that their lifestyle won’t be affected after a marriage is over, but that is simply not true. The married lifestyle is over. Divorce requires taking one household and dividing it into two. This requires sacrifices from both parties and, in many cases, those sacrifices will be significant. 

Rules and regulations for divorces settlements vary significantly from state to state and there tends to be a lack of common sense in most settlements. Oftentimes they freeze the former couple’s financial situation, leaving one ex-spouse with a lifetime of financial obligation and the other is barred from improving their financial standing on their own. 

Beyond that, many state systems force one spouse into a spousal support situation that disincentivizes re-marriage and a search for decent employment.

People considering divorce should consider whether their spouse will always be able to pay. This is because oftentimes punitive spousal support keeps both parties at risk. An example of this would be if an ex-spouse becomes disabled and loses their ability to work, then the other will lose the court ordered income. 

This dilemma is exemplified by the state of Massachusetts changing its alimony statuses in response to several following several egregious cases in which the paying spouse was forced into bankruptcy in an attempt to help the receiving party. Now, the state of Massachusetts has alimony ending at retirement in most cases and it has imposed other limits based on how long the couple was married.   

Developing a marital financial plan that provides a road map for a simple division of assets is one way to help couples reduce the financial and emotional stress of a divorce. 

Total Separation

The idea that once the settlement is final, financial troubles with an ex-spouse will be over is just not true. Even in cases when an equitable financial settlement is reached, divorcees might still have to interact, especially if there are children involved. For example, issues like reimbursements for expenses related to raising children can force the divorcing couple to interact with each other directly every month. And in many cases, such interaction is a bad idea.

It’s a good idea to make sure settlements can be modified if circumstances change. Keep this in mind before signing papers.  

It’s important to review all aspects of a settlement and ensure both spouses understand it fully – both the paying party and the receiving party – since they are the ones that have to live with the outcome. Also remember that in most cases child support is the only modifiable part of a settlement agreement.  

Divorces Happen

Divorce is just an unhappy fact of life, but advance planning can help mitigate the damage they can cause. The simplest piece of divorce advice is that there are no do-overs, so it pays to get the settlement done right the first time.

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