BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Nicholas Auzemika, a local divorce attorney said he and his brother have been in the business for nearly 30 years, but in 2020 they're drowning in divorce documents.
"We’ve never been busier. I mean this is insane. We've raised our retainers just to slow it down," Auzemika said. "I think it's because people had to stay home and I guess you either get closer to your spouse, or you realize nope this is definitely not working for me."
According to one company that provides legal documents, a large number of marriages across the country are in a rocky place. As people looking to get a divorce was 34% higher from March through June compared to the previous year.
Auzemika said, "I don't think COVID has resulted in any divorces. I think it just accelerated it."
Local relationship coach Daphna Levy agreed and said it's because couples without a strong foundation tend to fail.
“The pandemic shows the weak links in people's relationships," she said.
Levy said those with fragile foundations will be harder to fix when added stressors are involved.
"Whether it’s a pandemic, or god forbid illness, or death in the family, something will show your weaknesses. And you need to be strong as a couple regardless because you never know what life is going to throw at you."
Levy said the key to growing this foundation is to never take your partner for granted, and put in the same effort as when you met.
"Always try to win her heart. And you try to win his heart. It’s never a given that you're still in love with each other. "
And if couples do find themselves going through with a divorce, It may take time due to COVID restrictions, as well as an abundance of vacancies among judges within the county.
Auzemika said: "Pre-COVID if you wanted to get a trial date, you couldn't settle your case. You were looking at 6 months, 8 months out. Now we are talking about a year out, and you're lucky if you even get a year out."
Both the divorce attorney and relationship coach say they've seen most issues in relationships among younger or newlywed couples.