When lockdown equals break up


The current Covid-19 pandemic has changed all our lives in ways we could not have imagined 12 months ago.

Working from home has become the norm for those still working. Doing online shopping, getting used to Zoom meetings, and doing home fitness classes are all common place whereas hugging a friend is a much-missed event.

Sadly, Covid-19 has also had a knock-on effect on relationships with divorce post-lockdown soaring.

Divorce on the rise

The Citizens Advice Bureau has reported that visits to their online guidance for divorce are up 25% compared to this time last year.

January and September are generally seen as the “busy months” for divorces but, since the first lockdown in March, the number of people seeking advice on relationship breakdown has soared by an average of 40%.

The increase in cases, together with lockdown, has meant a huge backlog within the court system causing delays of many months.

Spending 24/7 with your partner can put pressure on the happiest of relationships and a huge change in lifestyle has sadly been the straw that broke the camel’s back for many couples. 

Things to consider

If you are considering separating from your partner, it is worth taking a moment to consider the following:

  • It is not a war. Divorce can happen amicably and does not automatically mean that you need to be constantly fighting or in dispute with your former partner.
  • There are no winners or losers. The end of a marriage is never a situation where one person can win, or another can lose.
  • Dealing with the breakdown of your relationship in a civilised and amicable way is better for all concerned. Reducing the stress and anxiety for all involved will mean that you can approach the divorce in a more sensible and calm manner which in turn will ensure the process does not drag on and on.
  • If there are children involved, consider their wishes and feelings. Seeing parents argue is upsetting and unsettling for children of all ages and can have lasting damage on their mental and physical health. Focusing on what is best for them as well as yourself and reminding them that they are still loved by both parents will also help.
  • Get proper advice. Your friends or family members may have been through a relationship breakdown, but every case is different. Get advice from an independent family law specialist who will give you impartial and realistic advice, including options other than court proceedings.
  • Breathe. It is incredibly stressful having to live in the same house and lockdown heightens those emotions. If you can, find somewhere quiet and simply breathe. 

More information

Pinney Talfourd offer a free 30-minute appointment to discuss family breakdowns. These can be by telephone, online meeting or in person at a pre booked appointment.

Please complete the form on this page, chat with us now or call us on 01708 229444 for more information and to be put through to a family lawyer.

This article was written by Sue Nash, Senior Associate in the Family Team at Pinney Talfourd LLP Solicitors. The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. Specific legal advice should be taken on each individual matter. This article is based on the law as of December 2020.


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