An increase in divorce rates across the UK during the Coronavirus lockdown.

Emma Peake (Student)

Work and other activities give couples the opportunity to have time apart. However, this has changed during the Coronavirus lockdown, forcing couples to be together all day every day. This has caused divorce rates to rise.  

In 2019, divorce rates were around 7.5%. However, 9 months into 2020 saw divorce rates rise to 33.3%. Certain law firms have claimed that they have seen a 40% rise in divorce during lockdown, with more expected. A statement from Co-Op Legal Services states that ‘we saw a rise in divorce rates of 42%. It is normal for us to see a rise mainly after the Christmas period, due to finances, stress and other factors however, this year seems to have doubled in figures.’ The BBC also released a statement stating, ‘The impact of Coronavirus has reshaped our personal relationships, forcing us to live with people and isolating us from other people.’ 

‘A spike in divorce was expected’ claimed Nelson Law, ‘couples have been together 24/7 with financial worries, fear, stress and illness. Though, divorce should not be a rushed decision.’ Over 54% of people have lost income or taken a pay cut. A further 39% have applied for unemployment benefits, putting strain on relationships. Leading expert in Family Law, Laura McGuire claims that ‘It is best to undertake mediation or marriage counselling before divorcing.’  

 ‘Domestic violence and alcoholism have increased, also leading to divorces claims Aisha Vardag, a divorce specialist in London.  

Lockdown has given people the time to realise what they want for their future, and in most cases, divorce was long overdue meaning that the pandemic has given people confirmation that divorce was the correct option.  

Staffordshire University Legal Advice Clinic (SULAC) is a Pro-Bono service providing free legal advice. Students are supervised by a qualified solicitor. If you have an issue regarding Divorce, or contact with children, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will advise you on the legal aspects of the area.  Please call 01782 294458 or email SULAC@staffs.ac.uk for an appointment

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