Will there be a rise in lockdown divorces?
After almost 3 months of Coronavirus lockdown, there are many who believe the UK is heading for a rise in lockdown divorces. While no official statistics have yet been provided on the scale of lockdown divorces and break-ups, family practitioners up and down the country have sadly seen the heartache that forced isolation has perpetuated.
Counselling service, Relate has had a 20% rise in website traffic and a 26% increase in telephone inquiries since the first week of lockdown. Its number of support sessions is up by 86% after switching to online services. Google has also reported that searches related to divorce fell by 30% in the first week of lockdown but revived within three weeks and have now returned to pre-pandemic levels.
People trying to save or escape from troubled relationships are having to make creative use of technology with many conversations now taking place over FaceTime and WhatsApp rather than physical meetings in an office. Many family practitioners are also finding their working days are being stretched a lot further. Some clients can only message in the evening when their partner has gone to bed, or get up early in the morning to do so. Or they only have an opportunity perhaps on the weekend when their spouse goes out for a run. That is where there has been a real change in how people are communicating with their family solicitors.
If you are in a relationship which has sadly come to an end, it is possible to start the process of formally ending this relationship legally even during lockdown. Our family solicitors are able to offer a fixed price initial consultation to talk you through the options available to you depending upon your specific circumstances. Whilst our offices remain closed we are able to offer appointments remotely through the use of Microsoft Teams, Whatsapp, Facetime or Zoom at a date and time convenient for you. Please contact 01473 617 317 for more information.
Amanda Erskine is a solicitor in the Family department at Barker Gotelee Solicitors in Suffolk.