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The global pandemic has begun to hit Americans at home in ways that could have lasting effects, long after COVID-19 is in the rearview mirror and life, jobs, and businesses inch closer to pre-pandemic status. 

Attorney Kris Balekian Hayes is seeing a spike in divorces in the second half of 2020. "Some of these divorces may not have happened, or at least not yet if the pandemic had not occurred. The added stressors of the global financial and health crisis have created a desperate landscape for many relationships that were already on the road to divorce," she says. 

It should be no surprise that some couples who have spent more time together while quarantined in cramped spaces haven't fared well during the coronavirus outbreak.

"We've had an increased amount of calls, almost fifty percent, in the past few weeks from people seeking advice for divorce proceedings. I have heard the same from my colleagues at other firms."

"During times of stress, divorce rates increase. Whether it be a job change, moving states, financial insecurity, or chronic illness, divorce rates increase. But lockdown puts what's lacking or broken in a marriage on full display," says partner Justin Whiddon. "Couples are making decisions based on issues they see now when forced to be in each other's orbit much more than before."

The uptick in divorce was ominously predicted by the news from the earlier pandemic hotspots in China. According to Bloomberg Business Week, media reports from various Chinese cities show uncouplings surged in March as husbands and wives began emerging from weeks of government-mandated lockdowns intended to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. Incidents of domestic violence also multiplied. "For those involved in an abusive relationship, 'shelter-in-place' may have had unintended consequences resulting in an increase of domestic violence cases. " 

"Our advice to couples is always to stop and take the time to talk about each other's frustrations, desires, and needs. How have they shifted in the past four months? How can they work together to be better individuals and partners? If couples are willing to work through the challenges that the pandemic has seen us all facing, some couples will likely come out stronger than ever." Said Balekian Hayes.

The best way to get guidance on your specific legal issue is to contact a lawyer. To schedule a meeting with Balekian Hayes, PLLC visit:

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