COVID-19

Marriage and divorce are way down, study suggests

Samantha Fields Jan 6, 2021
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Divorce is expensive, and right now, a lot of people don't have that money to spend. Morakot Kawinchan via Getty Images
COVID-19

Marriage and divorce are way down, study suggests

Samantha Fields Jan 6, 2021
Heard on:
Divorce is expensive, and right now, a lot of people don't have that money to spend. Morakot Kawinchan via Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

A lot of folks canceled big weddings during the pandemic, so perhaps it’s no surprise that a new study finds fewer people got married last year. The Bowling Green State University demographic study that looks at five states also suggests a big drop in divorces by as much as 36% in New Hampshire, for example.

The thing about divorce is it’s expensive. 

“If you have complex issues or custody stuff, you probably need an attorney,” said Michelle O’Neil, a divorce lawyer in Dallas.

“There ends up being a duplication of housing, so you have to create the duplicate furniture, and then you have the electrical, all the costs of a normal house,” she said.

And, right now, a lot of people don’t have that money to spend. 

That is likely a big reason the divorce rate has dropped by more than 20% during the pandemic in four of the five states the study looked at.

Krista Payne is one of the study’s researchers, and she said the same thing happened during the Great Recession. 

“And much of that was found to be caused by economic resources, and just loss of jobs and less resources to get divorced,” Payne said.

The uncertainty of the last year and the temporary closures of offices and courts likely also played a role. 

“The other thing about divorce is divorce takes time,” Payne said.

Couples who might not be getting along now because of the pandemic, Payne said, may not officially get divorced for a while. 

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

Millions of Americans are unemployed, but businesses say they are having trouble hiring. Why?

This economic crisis is unusual compared to traditional recessions, according to Daniel Zhao, senior economist with Glassdoor. “Many workers are still sitting out of the labor force because of health concerns or child care needs, and that makes it tough to find workers regardless of what you’re doing with wages or benefits,” Zhao said. “An extra dollar an hour isn’t going to make a cashier with preexisting conditions feel that it’s safe to return to work.” This can be seen in the restaurant industry: Some workers have quit or are reluctant to apply because of COVID-19 concerns, low pay, meager benefits and the stress that comes with a fast-paced, demanding job. Restaurants have been willing to offer signing bonuses and temporary wage increases. One McDonald’s is even paying people $50 just to interview.

Could waiving patents increase the global supply of COVID-19 vaccines?

India and South Africa have introduced a proposal to temporarily suspend patents on COVID-19 vaccines. Backers of the plan say it would increase the supply of vaccines around the world by allowing more countries to produce them. Skeptics say it’s not that simple. There’s now enough supply in the U.S that any adult who wants a shot should be able to get one soon. That reality is years away for most other countries. More than 100 countries have backed the proposal to temporarily waive COVID-19 vaccine patents. The U.S isn’t one of them, but the White House has said it’s considering the idea.

Can businesses deny you entry if you don’t have a vaccine passport?

As more Americans get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the economy continues reopening, some businesses are requiring proof of vaccination to enter their premises. The concept of a vaccine passport has raised ethical questions about data privacy and potential discrimination against the unvaccinated. However, legal experts say businesses have the right to deny entrance to those who can’t show proof.

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