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Have divorces risen during the pandemic? Local attorneys say it’s a mixed bag.

Buffalo Business First
November 3, 2020

For some married couples, frustrations reached a tipping point during the Covid-19 pandemic and prompted a rise in inquiries for divorce and matrimonial attorneys. According to Google Trends, which tracks internet searches of topics, searches for information on divorce have been more frequent since March when compared to the same range of months in 2019 both in New York and nationally. It might be too early to tell whether that translates into higher divorce filings this year.

Steven Wiseman, senior counsel at HoganWillig PLLC, said other factors can be in play.

“Part of that could be related to money, though,” he said. “It may be that with people unemployed and without money to pay their rent and other things that they also don’t have the financial wherewithal to be hiring an attorney.”

Wiseman said court closures during the pandemic may result in lower divorce numbers overall for 2020. When courts reopened and attorneys were up to speed on technological changes, he said, electronic filing streamlined aspects of the divorce process.

“We’re not handling too many hearings and trials (in person), but pretty much everything that we would do in matrimonial law still takes place either by telephone or video conference,” he said.

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