Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Divorces And Marriages Tumbled In U.S. During Covid, Study Shows

DivorceAccording to a new study, divorces and marriages "plummeted" last year. This is not surprising as many weddings were cancelled or postponed due to Covid-19. Bowling Green State University recently completed a study in which they analyzed five states that have released monthly numbers for last year. 

The data from the study contradicts the early predictions that Covid-19 and forced quarantines would cause divorce rates to go up. 

Florida, the largest state analyzed, marriage numbers were 33% lower than researchers would have expected based on previous trends, from March through September. "If trends in Florida and other states -- Arizona, New Hampshire, Missouri, and Oregon -- were repeated nationwide, the U.S. had an estimated “shortfall” of 339,917 marriages and 191,053 divorces, according to the paper by Bowling Green’s Wendy Manning and Krista Payne." 

You may be asking your self, "How is it that couples are happier during one of the toughest years ever?" Well, happiness may not be the reason for the decreased divorce numbers. One likely explanation is that the pandemic "may be forcing dissatisfied spouses to stay together for practical reasons." 

Further, divorce is often expensive and due to the economic uncertainty and danger of impending health issues from Covid-19, couples may be avoiding the turmoil caused by divorce and separation. 

See Ben Steverman, Divorces And Marriages Tumbled In U.S. During Covid, Study Shows, Financial Advisor Magazine, January 5th 2020. 

Special thanks to Joel C. Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.



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