To almost everyone’s surprise, including the experts and lay people alike, divorce rates are at historic lows across the U.S. Anecdotally, nearly everyone expected a divorce tsunami to occur this year or towards the end of last year, but that simply has not materialized.
The last year and a half have been, in a word, unprecedented, and so too has challenges that couples have faced. During this time, many couples experienced job loss or job upheaval, had to transition their children to remote learning and learn how to basically become teachers themselves and, for those couples with non-school aged kids, they probably lost their caregivers. This one-two punch of increased stress, combined with increased responsibilities and financial difficulties (not to mention the lessened sex drive from these issues), led most to believe that divorce rates would spike. After all, any number of these issues, at any other time in history, could have led to a divorce.
As some experts have put it, these myriads of issues were an existential maelstrom that should have exposed already existing cracks in marriages or put cracks in solid marriages. Yet, while these issues should have destroyed marriages, according to some marriage experts, the sheer weight of all the issues become profound moments of reflections for many couples. It forced them to have difficult conversations about what matters most to them and what they wanted (or did not want) from life. For some, this has pushed them to move on from their spouse, but for many others, these frank, honest conversations have made them grow closer.
Maybe just delayed
Some experts believe that the divorce tsunami is still coming, it is just delayed. Some of those economic and familial factors that may push some to divorce may also be delaying the divorce as well. For example, for those that experienced severe economic downturn, they may not be able to afford a divorce. After all, splitting incomes when one or both spouses may not be working may seem financially impossible. And, for those with childcare needs, splitting up the “team,” regardless of how dysfunctional, may similarly feel impossible. Though, once things begin to normalize, these couples can then divorce.
For Salem, Oregon, couples considering a divorce, call an attorney now. An attorney can help the couple through their issues to figure out if a divorce sooner, rather than later, is actually a tenable solution.