Jewish couples did not seek more divorces during 2020 – despite COVID-19 lockdowns, quarantines and the added stress of children being homebound with schools closed – a Rabbinical Courts study reported on Monday.
While the drop had been small, 3% less compared to 2019, it goes against the past five years during which divorce rates steadily increased.
“The expectation we had is that increased reports concerning domestic violence would mean an increase of divorce requests due to conflict within the family,” Rabbinical Courts spokesman Shai Doron told The Jerusalem Post. “Instead we saw a 7% decline in such requests.”
Consensual divorces also dropped by 1%, this with the courts working almost as usual with only three days of being shut down due to the COVID-19 health restrictions.
“Maybe people were less willing to carry the financial burden of divorcing during the pandemic,” Doron told the Post, “or perhaps people felt they need to stick it out together no matter what when faced with greater uncertainty.”
The vast majority of weddings held in Israel are done according to the rules and guidelines of the country's various religious groups, with civic marriages being the much less common practice.