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Will self-isolating push some couples to divorce?

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, more couples are finding themselves spending a lot more time confined in the house together. Nationwide, the number of states issuing mandatory stay at home orders is increasing daily. On a federal level, the government is urging everyone to practice social distancing, which means avoiding gatherings of over ten people, working from home whenever possible, and staying six feet away from anyone not in your household. Families who have been exposed to the coronavirus are being told the entire household must remain inside for a 14-day quarantine to stop the spread of the dangerous virus.

Rarely have so many American families spent so much time indoors together. In most families, at least one parent works outside the home and school aged children are at school during much of the day. Now, parents are often working side by side from home, while being asked to homeschool their children. So much togetherness can prove wonderful for some families, or spell disaster for others.

China Sees Increase in Divorce Requests

To uncover whether coronavirus is likely to impact divorce rates in the U.S., we can start by looking to China, who is said to be several months ahead of the United States in its battle with coronavirus. China imposed stringent quarantine measures for months to quell the spread of COVID-19. Those with non-essential jobs were required to work from home and the only authorized trips out were for essential supplies or exercise. Now, coronavirus cases seem to have reached their peak and some measure of normalcy is returning to the country.

New reports from the Global Times reveal that in the Chinese city of Xi’an, a record number of divorces have been filed in recent weeks. Officials are attributing the rise in filings to two factors—first, offices have been closed for some time, which delayed some requests; and secondly, couples have been quarantined in close quarters.

Time will tell if divorces in the U.S. seem to follow suit with some areas in China. For now, couples should strive to enjoy their increased time together during this stressful pandemic. Find new hobbies or activities to engage in, be open about your feelings, and work together to care for and entertain children.