Divorce Reduced During Covid-19 Lockdown in the U.S


Research revealed that divorce rate in the United States reduced during the Covid-19 pandemic against popular expectation that it ought to rise.

The director of the University of Virginia’s National marriage Project ,Dr Braaford Wilcox confirmed that divorce fillings were down between 10 and 20% since last year. 

Though Mr Wilcox admits that these numbers may also show delayed divorces, as unhappy couples were unable to get to the courthouse during the lockdown period. Also, there are more data which suggest trends other than delayed divorce.

Last year, the American family survey showed that over 40% of Americans’ marriages were in trouble. And this year, the number is down to 29%.  58% of married people between ages of 18 and 55 also reported that their appreciation for their partners has increased during the pandemic. 

While the 51% report a strong commitment to their marriages during Covid-19 ,  8% felt that their commitment in marriage is weak.

Dr Wilcox disclosed that marriages thrive during times of historical stress, such as during the great recession decade ago. He made this known recently on the Upstream podcast with Shane Morris.

Financial burden to execute divorce is  very stressful, hence some couples may have decided to weather the storm.  So other couples choose to stay with their spouses than to go through all the trauma. However, Wilcox believes there are more reasons than what is obvious.

He said many fathers spent more time at home and have helped with different household  chores which they never participated in. 

Furthermore, he added that the marital benefits of a father’s presence go far beyond the division of labour in a household. Wilcox believes that the increased time men spend engaging  in home life makes an incredible difference relationally with both spouse and the children. 

It was revealed that during the pandemic the home became the centre of work, play, meals and even a place of worship.

Reports confirmed that the Covid-19 pandemic reversed a long-term trend in which the home has been largely de-centred from modern life.

Aaron Renn, a researcher with the institute of family studies, pointed out back in March that pre-industrial families  shared labour together,  shared meals, shared recreation and shared education. 

During the pandemic the families were forced to stop treating their own homes as an escape from the demanding and straining jobs which consumes  lot of their times. 

Renn said it was discovered that many families have now rediscovered “the productive household”.  And as Wilcox believes is  theorising, a backyard garden, renovations, cleaning the garage, family projects and board games can re-centre  families. 

He continued saying instead of leaving when conflicts arises, couples were forced to stay together  and during their stay together reconciled.  They might have experienced the long term relational and personal improvement that comes when the conflict is faced and resolved, as opposed to running away from each other without solving the conflict. 

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