Amid COVID-19, divorce lawyers and marriage counselors ‘busy as we’ve ever been’

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Sometimes the only thing keeping a couple together is the time they’re able to spend apart.

And in the days and months of COVID-19 quarantine, with business travel and hobbies outside of the home limited, many metro marriages are suffering.

“I mean, I would say I’m as busy as I’ve ever been,” Lauren King Mason, a licensed marriage and family therapist, said. “Things that were always there are still there, only magnified.”

Many married couples working from home are struggling with the burdens of sharing an office space with their spouse in addition to sharing teaching duties for their children.

It’s a lot, and it’s taking its toll. Ask any family law attorney.

“I would say that (divorce) cases are definitely increasing right now,” Lauren Fields, a family law attorney with Roth Davies, LLC, said. “I think that, unfortunately, with people being stuck in their houses together, some couples are realizing that they might not be able to quarantine together, let alone stay married.”

Further complicating divorce cases in this climate: custody issues complicated by the coronavirus.

“One parent decides to travel and the other parent is upset that they went on an airplane, for example,” Fields said. “That’s a big one that were seeing, and unfortunately, with holidays coming up and having bigger gatherings for Thanksgiving and Christmas, we’re going to see more issues with that as well.”

Fields said she’s a big believer in marriage therapy and urges couples to make an honest effort to work through their troubles.

King Mason agreed and said many couples regret rushing to dissolve a marriage, particularly during a pandemic.

“Whenever we don’t know what to do, our best option is to stand still until we do know what to do,” Fields said.

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