Contrary to popular belief, it seems that many couples in New York are actually reconciling rather than divorcing during the coronavirus pandemic. In the first month that local courts accepted new case filings, there were not nearly as many divorce cases filed as expected.
Predictions of mass divorce subside as many local couples are not separating
In the early months of the coronavirus spread in New York, many family law professionals predicted a flood of divorce filings as soon as the courts re-opened. This was partially due to the fact that domestic violence and related issues had seen a large increase nationally, and it was predicted that many couples simply could not stand to be stuck together at home all day long for several months.
The most recent statistics at the time of publication showed that divorces in the state dropped 45% when compared with typical monthly averages. Some attorneys in the city have even heard stories about couples fixing their marriages with the extra time together during the pandemic.
The restrictions for new filings of divorces and certain other types of cases were lifted in late May for most of New York City, Long Island, and Westchester County. The Office of Court Administration saw about half of the number of divorce filings they would typically see in a month by late June. A large surprise was that the borough of Queens filed just nine divorces in total during this first month. Manhattan had the most during that time period with just over 600. There were just under 500 filings in Brooklyn.
A local attorney who was interviewed by the media said that he had been warned about the coming flood of cases by his colleagues. However, the pandemic essentially only tested many relationships, which led him to believe that people who had good marriages were not going to suddenly divorce. Couples with strong foundations in their relationships seemed to be mostly unaffected. This same attorney even shared a story about a client who was ready to file as soon as the courts opened, but time away from work actually caused him to sort things out with his wife, and they are still together.
Other family professionals believe that the economic uncertainty caused by the strict shutdowns led many couples to wait things out rather than spend money on divorce attorneys and legal fees. There is still a possibility that many of these couples could separate as things start to return to normal in the coming months.
Speak with a divorce attorney in Brooklyn
There are lawyers who serve the Brooklyn area and nearby parts of New York with advice related to divorcing and other family law issues. To speak with a licensed professional about the process to separate and related court procedures, contact:
32 Court Street, Suite 404, Brooklyn, NY, 11201