First, I would like to offer my sincere prayers for all families affected and remaining affected by Hurricane Sandy. The devastation and toll on families on Long Island as well as other parts of the country have been immeasurable.
Today, I was asked whether an event like Hurricane Sandy or the recession causes more people to seek a divorce or less. While I have no statistical data or hard evidence, my answer really is it depends.
Familes that are able to bond during difficult times and recognize the marital problems that they have are not so severe compared to these type of events may make it. On the other hand, spouses that had already reached the point of no return will likely seek a divorce regardless of the impact of these types of events. The only thing that will change is the start time. Understandably, they may delay seeing an attorney or going to Family Court until their home and children are secure. I totally agree that there should be prioritization and the security and safety of spouses and their children are the most important matters to protect.
At the same time the additional stress can be a catalyst to spouses deciding that they really are unable to work together and that they cannot partner in the main priorities of their family. Even without destruction from Hurricane Sandy, people that have no electricity and have to stay in a dark, cold house can easily lose their patience with each other and thus confirm their feelings that the marriage is over.
So not only as an attorney but as a community member, I hope people will do what is right for their families first and then deal with their marital issues. My firm is ready to help with your legal matters when the time is right.