Will North Carolina Divorces Rise After the Outbreak?

Posted by Josh Valentine | Apr 02, 2020 | 0 Comments

With travel restrictions, kids home from school, and stay-at-home orders in North Carolina, families may be feeling increased tension in the home. Many couples are separated during long stretches of the day when at work, out with friends, or spending time exercising. Such a dramatic change in day-to-day life can be challenging and may lead to an increase in divorce filings after the COVID-19 outbreak ends.

If you have any questions about filing for divorce and want to know about your options, talk to your North Carolina family law attorneys for help. 

Increase in Divorce Filings in China After Coronavirus

Divorce filings have increased significantly in China over recent weeks. Cities like Xi'an and Dazhou have recorded higher rates of divorce filings since the beginning of March after the coronavirus mandatory lockdowns. Local government offices have been overwhelmed with the increased divorce filings and some towns have placed daily limits on the number of divorce filings allowed.

Many of the couples attributed the divorce to the outbreak, citing financial problems, lack of equity in housekeeping and child care, and depression and anxiety.

According to a report in Bloomberg Businessweek, the Chinese government will consider a proposal for a new “30-day cooling-off period for couples petitioning for divorce, during which time either party can withdraw the application.” 

Increase in Domestic Violence Reports in China 

Reports of domestic violence have also risen in China following the stay-at-home orders and self-quarantine. Daily frustrations, worries about money, and drinking too much can increase the risk of fighting and emotional or physical abuse. According to another report, a police station in Jianli County received more than three times more reports of domestic violence in February compared to last February. 

In North Carolina, the stay-at-home orders provide limited relief for individuals who do not feel safe at home. “Individuals whose residences are unsafe or become unsafe, such as victims of domestic violence, are permitted and urged to leave their home and stay at a safe alternate location, which can include a hotel or shelter.”

North Carolina Families Under Stay At Home Orders

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper issued a general stay-home order to residents of the state through April 29th. The extraordinary measures are intended to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and prevent the medical system from being overwhelmed. This is keeping most families in North Carolina at home except to perform essential work and essential activities, including: 

  • Taking care of others, 
  • Obtaining necessary supplies, and
  • For health and safety purposes.

For families where one or both spouses are employed in “essential work,” such as working in healthcare or at a grocery store, their job may keep them out of the home for much of the day. However, most couples will find themselves spending much more time in a confined space with their spouse and children. Even if one or both spouses have a job to do from home, the distractions of having the family at home can cause frustration and interfere with work.

Divorce Filings in North Carolina After Coronavirus

North Carolina may see an increase in divorce filings after the Coronavirus emergency has lifted. However, a divorce in North Carolina requires the couple to live separately and apart for one year before the divorce can be granted. This separation period may allow couples who are feeling the pressure of the outbreak to have a “cool down” period, where life can get back to what it was before COVID-19.

Alternatively, a one-year separation may show the spouse that divorce is the right decision after all. A year living apart can come as welcome relief to some spouses, especially after being required to live together for a month around the clock and under challenging conditions.  

North Carolina Divorce Lawyers

If you have any questions about the divorce process in North Carolina, contact the Caulder & Valentine Law Firm, PLLC. Contact us online or by phone at 704-470-2440 today for a consultation.

About the Author

Josh Valentine

You could say Josh has a God-given ability for sustaining long-term relationships. He and his wife first met in elementary school and went to Gardner Webb University (GWU) together, where they tied for number 1 in their class. Then, they both started law school on the same day of their graduation and got married during their first semester. He has also known his law partner Blake Caulder since Kindergarten. Theirs is the perfect partnership. “He’s the brake; I am the accelerator,” Josh says. Both Josh and his wife attended an innovative program at Charlotte Law School that allowed them to complete law school in two years instead of the typical three. His wife graduated and passed the North Carolina bar at age 20, becoming one of the youngest attorneys in the state. He readily admits she’s smarter than him. Of course, Josh went on to pass the North Carolina State Bar himself and later the South Carolina State Bar. While in school, he was Associate Editor of the Law Review and received accolades like Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society membership, Order of the Crown, Pro Bono Honors, CALI Awards (highest grade). In his career as a lawyer, he has been admitted to the United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina, is a member of the American Association of Premier DUI Attorneys, and completed training for DWI Detection & Standardized Field Sobriety Testing. Josh has also been named to the Top 40 Under 40 for Criminal Defense by The National Trial Lawyers, the Business North Carolina 2019 Legal Elite for Criminal Defense, and the 10 Best Attorneys for Client Satisfaction by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys three years in a row (2016, 2017, and 2018). Community involvement has been important to Josh all his life. In high school, he participated in building a Holocaust museum that has become internationally regarded. He and his wife are actively engaged in animal rescue, which currently means seven cats and two kittens. He served in prison ministry and assisted with fundraiser banquets there, and he provides pro bono and reduced fee legal services to those in need. As if all of that weren’t enough, Josh also mentors high risk youth and helps with his church’s youth group. He participates in other community volunteer projects involving construction, remodeling, drywall, painting, and landscaping. He’s an active student of the Bible and has traveled to Israel, Brazil, and Europe for mission work. No one can say Josh isn’t a well-rounded individual. In his spare time, he likes to play softball, basketball, and tennis, and he can play the piano and trombone. Sometimes on weekends, believe it or not, he enjoys pouring and finishing concrete with friends who own a concrete and grading business. In his law practice, Josh has made it a point to develop positive relationships with officers, clerks, and district attorneys, which has proven invaluable in delivering positive results for his clients. It’s important to him to both listen to his clients and fight for them. Law enforcement officers have important responsibilities to keep our communities safe and uphold the law, but one of the responsibilities of attorneys is to make sure officers do their job correctly. Josh considers it his job to hold them accountable for their actions. Josh is a person of deep faith. He knows that the established order of our universe and strength of America’s Judeo-Christian influenced court system is built on God’s word. His passion to serve each client with innovation, excellence and integrity is a byproduct of his faith. When asked why he became a lawyer, Josh says, “All through my life, I have personally witnessed family members and very close friends endure divorce, child custody battles, bankruptcy, civil lawsuits, and even fraudulent criminal accusations. I both saw and experienced the stress such events can place on an individual, and I realized that everyone, at some point in their life, needs hope, comfort, and encouragement. In each one of those situations, the person who was best situated to provide that vital support was their lawyer. So that’s why I became an attorney. I understand what you are going through, and I’m here to help you. Our office is focused on meeting your needs and guiding you through what may be the most difficult time of your life.” Education: Charlotte School of Law J.D., Magna Cum Laude Class Rank – 21 of 328 Associate Editor of Charlotte School of Law Law Review Certification and Concentration in Employment Law Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society Order of the Crown Pro Bono Honors CALI Awards (Highest Grade)—Lawyering Process I and Contracts I Full Scholarship Gardner-Webb University B.S. in Accounting, Summa Cum Laude Distinguished Senior Student Award – Highest GPA Alpha Sigma Lambda National Honorary Society Bar Admissions: North Carolina State Bar


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