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2020 was a tumultuous year, and some developments have the potential to affect the real estate and mortgage industry more than you may immediately think. We’ve been hearing about divorce rates increasing since the start of quarantine last year, and as unfortunate as that may be, it’s something for real estate, lending, and legal professionals to consider.

However, there has been some confusion on this subject.

Many reports popped up stating divorces were on the rise in 2020 because of the close quarters couples were forced into for such long periods of time. However, this didn’t seem to be the case.  According to the Bowling Green State University Center for Family and Demographic Research, despite popular predictions, divorce rates actually fell overall last year.

Why Did Divorce Rates Decline Last Year?

The prediction that the divorce rate would skyrocket made sense – and had a valid argument backing it up – but at the end of the day it seemed more anecdotal than anything. So, what exactly happened?

Lack of funds. Divorce can be expensive and during a pandemic where everyone’s position at work was tentative at best while many suffered layoffs, an expensive divorce just wasn’t in the cards for many households. In fact, Bloomberg remarked that for this same reason, the number of weddings held fell as well.

Government buildings were closed. Many courts and other government buildings were closed during the pandemic, so even those interested in seeking a divorce, couldn’t actually start the process. Then, there were many other logistical reasons disrupting divorce proceedings like couples selling their homes during a pandemic (which would mean having people in and out of the property), custody battles over children when courts were closed, and finding someplace else to set up camp during quarantine.

Others suggest we’ll see a spike in divorce rates now that quarantine is over, and the world is beginning to return to normal. Those that stuck it out over the past year due to financial instability may now feel more comfortable with proceeding. If this does occur, those couples will need real estate, lending, and legal professionals on their team to help them navigate the divorce process and associated logistics.

To stay up to date on the latest divorce and probate data you’ll want to reach out to a data specialist to discuss how we can meet the needs of your team and find a plan that works for your individual needs.