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2020 has influenced divorce and family life in myriad ways

Family matters are always complex, but for people in Kentucky and across the nation, the ongoing health crisis has stoked fundamental changes in the way many people live. Not only have finances been strained and work life radically altered, but children are impacted and the overall lifestyle is substantially different. Recent research has assessed how people are coping with the circumstances and how it might impact the future. People who are dealing with their own challenges at home might want to consider the analysis.

Divorce rates have seemingly declined, but that might be circumstantial

Among the dramatic changes people have endured is the need to be in the presence of a spouse more often than usual. For many, this has been viewed as an opportunity to spend more time together as a family and is perceived as positive. For others, it exacerbates lingering tensions and shows that the relationship was not what the spouses thought it was, leading to questions.

Compounding the new lifestyle are the limited options available. Court dockets have been reduced or backlogged making it harder to move forward with a divorce if that is the goal. Discussing the disputes with marriage counselors or consulting with legal professionals is also delayed due to safety concerns. The relationship itself may be stressed by spending more time together and time-tested reasons for marital breakdowns like financial struggles are also exacerbated with the pandemic.

Several states have seen a decline in both marriages and divorces, indicating that the issues stem not from a lack of desire to move forward with these life decisions, but the technical hurdles preventing it. Arizona, Oregon and Florida had various declines in divorces. Even if people are waiting for the pandemic restrictions to loosen before they decide whether to divorce or not, for many it is unlikely to solve the problems in the marriage that came to light.

When facing marital strife, it is important to understand the alternatives

Divorce should not be taken lightly, but when the relationship has run its course, it may be better to end the union and move on. There will be specific concerns that will come to the forefront when getting a divorce including child custody, property division, spousal support and more. Simply consulting with an experienced legal professional does not necessarily mean that the person should pursue a divorce, but it can be beneficial to have information about the process. Calling for advice and guidance can be useful from the start.