Family courts may face a tsunami of divorces and filings in the coming months!!!
After the coronavirus pandemic-caused lockdown is lifted, many countries are going to see a tsunami! But this time around, it will not be a natural disaster in the true sense of the word. It will be a coronavirus-induced man-made disaster called Divorce. Yes, many couples including the older population are going for divorces. The reason is that their seemingly perfect marriages collapsed under the strain of the coronavirus crisis. The deadly virus caused major life disruptions which the couples could not sustain staying under one roof.
Divorces and coronavirus pandemic
No one could have imagined that a microscopic but deadly virus such as coronavirus would change one’s life so drastically that it would not remain the same after the pandemic subsides. It has not yet subsided but countries are gradually easing the lockdown they imposed on their reluctant citizens. And as the courts reopen, there is soon going to be a tsunami…Tsunami of divorce filings from frustrated couples. They were waiting for the resumption of court duties to put in their legal documents.
Lawyers dealing with family matters have revealed that there has been a 50% rise in inquiries related to legal separation from potential customers. March is the month when most divorces are filed. But now, since March the courts were closed. So the new filings would be the backlog prior to the pandemic as well as the new divorces as a result of the pandemic.
Financial and asset issues
The pending divorce cases which were already in the court might now take a longer time to be settled. The stock market is down and so are the property values. All this impact greatly property division during divorce. Some people have lost their jobs or have been forced to retire sooner than expected due to the pandemic. Therefore, this will immensely affect the child support and maintenance allowance issues.
The virus has created an environment of panic, fear, and tension which is hard to overcome. It will continue to linger on with the families for a longer time.
Though the divorce rates have remained more or less static over the last 3 decades, the number of gray divorces have trebled in the above 65 years group. Life expectancy has increased and the stigma associated with divorce has come down. Therefore, more silver splitters are opting for it. They do not want to remain imprisoned in an unhappy marital relationship.
Couples no more want their retirement period to feel like the end but they now see it as a new beginning. But due to the coronavirus, even these gray divorces would be severely affected. The asset values and division of finances might be lower and hence their financial independence might suffer.
Additionally, old age has its own health issues. Many of them have associated anxiety and depression. Remarriages are common but these too collapse soon because the glue to bind the new older couples is less.