Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu

Divorce Filings Were Down Significantly In 2020—But It May Be A Temporary Drop


According to a report from The New York Times, preliminary data indicates that the national divorce rate dropped significantly in 2020. Experts cite the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic as the primary factor—meaning the fall in divorces may be temporary. Here, our Clearwater divorce attorney provides an overview of the report from The New York Times and we discuss American marital trends more broadly.

Divorce Filings May Have Dropped By Somewhere Between 10 and 20 Percent 

In its reporting on marriage and divorce, The New York Times spoke to experts across the country and reviewed official court data. The divorce attorneys and family counselors that the reporters spoke to consistently offered anecdotal evidence that there were fewer divorces in 2020. The data backs up that assertion:

  • In Los Angeles County, California, divorce filings were down by 17.3 percent in 2020;
  • In Rhode Island, divorce filings were down by 13 percent; and
  • In Missouri, divorce filings were down by 9 percent.

Unfortunately, this is not necessarily good news. The experts cited in the report noted that the fall in the divorce rate was driven primarily by uncertainty and financial stress. The COVID-19 pandemic put a serious strain on many people and families. Many believe the divorce rate is set to jump in 2021. 

Florida is No Exception to the National Trend—Steep Fall in Early Stages of Pandemic 

Earlier this year, WEAR-TV 3 reported that the divorce rate dropped in Florida in 2020. The news organization found that the number of divorces fell by 28 percent in Florida between March of 2020 and September of 2020 when compared to the same period over the previous year. The New York Times statewide data found that divorce filings dropped 19 percent in Florida in 2020 when compared to 2019.

Though, there is preliminary data that suggests that divorce filings started to rise again in the second half of last year. Similar to the national trends, there is plenty of reason to believe that the divorce rate will start to rise again once the COVID-19 pandemic has passed. 

The Divorce Rate has Slowly Been Falling for Decades 

The fall in divorce filings in 2020 may not be entirely about the COVID-19 pandemic. Although that is undoubtedly the primary driving factor, the number of divorce filings in the United States has long been on the decline. In fact, the Institute for Family Studies (IFS) reports that the country hit a 50-year low for its divorce rate in 2019. There has been a gradual fall in the divorce rate—and, to be fair, the marriage rate—for the last few decades.

 Get Help From a Divorce Lawyer in Largo, Florida

At the Law Office of Gale H. Moore P.A., our Largo divorce attorney has the legal expertise that you can count on during challenging times. If you have any questions or concerns about the divorce process, professional help is available. Contact our legal team right away for a fully confidential, no commitment review of your case. We provide family & divorce law services throughout Pinellas County, including in Clearwater, Dunedin, Pinellas Park, and Madeira Beach.




Facebook Twitter LinkedIn