Divorce during the pandemic: Which way are the numbers trending?

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Dealing with the pandemic has put a strain on a lot of relationships, including marriages.

At times it can feel like you have no break from your spouse, but that may not be a bad thing.

Austin Defense Attorney Holly Davis said that since the pandemic started, the number of people filing for divorce in Travis and Williamson Counties has plummeted.

“I think people assume that divorce rates are skyrocketing right now,” Davis said. “I think they assume that because it’s easy to see that everyone is in a confined space, and it’s a stressful time.”

The reality is much different though.

Compared to the same time period last year, divorce filings in Travis County were down 54%. In Williamson County they were down 41%.

Travis Co. Divorce Filings in20192020
April1,416507
May1,376627
June1,280756
Williamson Co. Divorce Filings:20192020
April429226
May447236
June405297

“Being in close proximity means that you are reminded of what you love about someone, and what you hate about them,” Davis said. “I think we’ll find a lot of people are setting the swords down for now and actually being forced to learn how to communicate and get to the other side of a conflict.”

So what’s comes next?

Will we see a flood of divorces once the pandemic ends? It’s possible.

Calls to divorce law firms have increased so much that Davis has been forced to hire three new attorneys.

“We’ve got a lot of people who are looking for information,” she said. “Whether or not they’re choosing to move forward with ending their relationship, proceeding with the divorce, isn’t clear yet, but they’re certainly reaching out and trying to get more data, information about the process.”

Davis also emphasized that while the courts are taking longer to process divorce cases, they’re making exceptions and expediting emergency cases.

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