For the past year and a half, it seemed like, at least once a week, we heard stories about the incoming divorce tsunami. All the news and posts seemed to indicate that we should expect 2020 and 2021 to see historic divorce rates. However, the exact opposite is true.
In truth, the current U.S. divorce rates are at historic lows, so why did everyone, including the experts, keep warning us about the divorce tsunami? Essentially, it was because the challenges couples faced and, to some extent, are still facing were unprecedented.
Traditionally, the most common reason for a divorce is financial issues, and in 2020/2021, millions of couples saw their financial situation explode. Everyone’s work, to some extent, changed, but for millions, they lost their income entirely or partially for an extended period of time as proven by the historically high unemployment rates throughout the U.S. During normal times, unemployment rates tracked divorce rates, where when unemployment rates went up, so did divorce rates. That has not happened in 2021 and did not happen in 2020.
All schools and childcare transitioned to remote learning, and some still have not fully transitioned back. This meant that parents had deal with these financial issues at the same time they were being expected to become teachers and childcare givers during times other people would normally have that responsibility. This exploded schedules and put a huge burden on parents that had never had such a burden in the past.
It was thought that these childcare and financial issues would explode marriages that already had issues and destroy even solid relationships that buckled under the strain. After all, with all of these new issues, combined with forced togetherness, often killed libidos, which only made matters worse, or at least that was what the experts thought.
What actually happened
That is the question! We know all of these things happened, but the Monterey, California, divorce tsunami did not happen. There are, perhaps, two reasons why. First, it could be that these struggles brought families closer together. The other reason is simply that people are waiting to file. It could be that the divorce tsunami is still coming, it has just been delayed. And, when it is time, one should call an attorney.