From the looks of it, #quarantineandchill is not going so well for some couples. According to Page Six, Manhattan attorneys have reported a 50 percent increase in inquiries from spouses seeking representation in potential divorce cases since lockdowns and shelter-in-place orders have been issued.
Family law experts tell the publication that being isolated in small apartments has helped to uncover or illuminate warts in many relationships, which explains the uptick in divorce-related inquiries and legal filings.
“We’ve had an increased amount of calls in the past week from people seeking representation for divorce proceedings, a 50 percent increase, and I have been hearing the same from my colleagues at other firms,” said William D. Zabel, an attorney and founding partner of Schulte Roth & Zabel. “We’ve had an increased amount of calls in the past week from people seeking representation for divorce proceedings, a 50 percent increase, and I have been hearing the same from my colleagues at other firms.”
During a time when anxiety is running high and pressure is mounting, arguments between couples are likely to increase.
“Many fights coming out of this will stem from not having space, and being overwhelmed,” added couples’ therapist Melissa Thoen, who serves as clinical director of the Ackerman Institute for the Family.
Additionally, it is speculated that some wealthier couples are looking to exit their relationships while their net worth is substantially lower due to dips in the stock market.
“People who have enjoyed busy lives suddenly find themselves confined together, at a time of incredible anxiety,” Zabel went on. “If wealthy people are looking for a rationale for divorce, an economic downturn is often a motivation — the net worth of the moneyed spouse is lower, and therefore a settlement could be lower. I anticipate there will be a number of high-profile divorce cases in the coming months.”
While this certainly isn’t surprising, it’s unfortunate that this crisis is pushing families apart instead of bringing them closer together.