Divorce filings are skyrocketing from quarantine-weary and financially stressed couples, according to top matrimonial attorneys, who are experiencing a 50 percent rise in inquiries from potential clients.
According to leading Manhattan family-law experts, somecouples forced to spend time together while quarantined in cramped apartments or even in palatial pads haven’t fared wellduring the coronavirus outbreak.
Making matters worse, dramatic sways in the financial markets will further spur a wave of wealthy divorces,because richer spouses may decide they want out while their net worth dips — potentially helping them avoid larger settlements, legal experts say.
NYC power divorce attorney William D. Zabel, a founding partner of Schulte Roth & Zabel, told Page Six, “We’ve had an increased amount of calls in the past weekfrom people seeking representation for divorce proceedings, a 50 percent increase, andI have been hearing the same from my colleagues at other firms.”
Zabel — whose clients have included Jane Welch during her divorce from late GE CEO Jack Welch, billionaire George Soros, golfer Greg Norman, Howard Stern and Matt Lauer — explained,“People who have enjoyed busy lives suddenly find themselves confined together, at a time of incredible anxiety.”He added, “If wealthy people are looking for a rationale for divorce, an economic downturn is often a motivation — the net worth of the moneyed spouse is lower, and therefore a settlement could be lower. I anticipate there will be a number of high-profile divorce cases in the coming months.”
Melissa Thoen, a couples’ therapist and the clinical director of the Ackerman Institute for the Family in NYC, told The Post,“Many fights coming out of this will stem from not having space, and being overwhelmed,”adding that in Xi’an, China, requests for divorce from couples coming out of months-plus-long quarantines cannot be processed fast enough.