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Here’s Why the Oregon Divorce Rate Fell in 2020

Published July 14, 2021
While many experts predicted that the pandemic would cause the divorce rate to skyrocket, it appears that the opposite is happening. Oregon’s divorce filings have fallen by 12 percent, as many couples are expressing a greater appreciation for their spouse during this unstable time.

In March of 2020, as the U.S. entered various degrees of lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19, relationship experts and sociologists quickly predicted that the divorce rate would skyrocket. With couples cooped up in a shared space for long periods of time, many believed that arguments would become more frequent. Additional stressors, such as health concerns, financial hardship, and other anxieties could also exacerbate marital conflict. Now that 2020 is coming to an end, how have these predictions played out? In many states, including Oregon, the divorce rate has actually fallen. Here’s why.

Feelings of Appreciation Are Up

Although the media loves to focus on the negative effects of COVID-19 (and there are many), the majority of people are voicing an enhanced sense of gratitude. Times of crisis often prompt individuals to turn to their loved ones for support, and married couples may find a renewed sense of appreciation for their partner. According to a recent survey, 58 percent of married couples reported that the pandemic has led them to appreciate their spouse more than they had before. Interestingly, those couples who experienced significant financial hardship this year were especially vocal about appreciating their spouse. Overall, couples indicated an increased commitment to their marriage, as their relationships served as sources of stability in the midst of a tumultuous year.

A More Equitable Partnership

As many individuals began working from home, married couples may have experienced a shift in domestic responsibilities. Marriages in which one partner consistently performed the bulk of the cleaning, cooking, and laundry may have evolved to allow for a more equitable division of these tasks. For a spouse who may have previously worked at an office, witnessing the volume of chores that the other spouse completed over the course of the day often prompted the couple to reevaluate their domestic roles. Several reports have shown that this uptick in time spent at home has led many fathers to spend more time on housework and child care. As a result, many couples are voicing their gratitude for this renewed sense of balance within their marriage.

Oregon Couples are Seeking Fewer Divorces

So far, Oregon has seen a steady decline in the number of divorce filings over the past year. In 2020, Oregon divorce filings fell by 12 percent. Sociologists estimate that this rate may continue to fall, mirroring the falling divorce rates in the wake of the 2008 recession. Of course, some couples may simply be waiting until the pandemic restrictions ease up to file for divorce, or these numbers may be low because the court has yet to finalize a number of pending divorces. Ultimately, it appears that the pandemic has solidified many relationships and inspired deeper feelings of gratitude for what we have.


If you are considering your divorce options in the Portland area, reach out to the compassionate and trusted legal team at Lee Tyler Family Law, P.C. today by calling (503) 233-8868.

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