Sarah Havers, a senior associate in our Divorce and Family team, recently spoke to City AM regarding the soaring number of people seeking divorce related advice. See the full article below.
Divorce enquiries jump 136 per cent as lockdown restrictions ease
The number of people seeking divorce related advice has soared by 136 per cent in June, compared to January, as lockdown restrictions ease, according to a law firm.
Law practice Stewarts said the figures follow the busiest 18 months it has seen in the history of its divorce and family practice as the number of divorce enquiries has steadily risen.
Between July and October last year the firm saw enquiries about divorces rise by 122 per cent.
How 2021 has differed
The jump in the middle of the summer is a shift from Stewarts’ typical “divorce calendar” – the peak times people think about divorcing their spouse are after Christmas or after the school summer holidays, when they have spent prolonged periods of time together.
Lockdowns have also meant couples have spent much of their time only with one another. The June spike coincides with the lifting of lockdown restrictions, suggesting, Stewarts said, that people are no longer prepared to wait to make key decisions about their lives.
“Even the strongest of marriages have been severely tested by the overall stresses of the pandemic – financial, emotional and physical,” said senior associate in the divorce department at Stewarts, Sarah Havers.
“What’s interesting,” she continued: “is that now restrictions are lifting, many couples can no longer sustain who they were in lockdown. Having been forced to take a long, hard look at their partners, the much-heralded promise of ‘freedom day’ has taken on a whole new meaning.”
Havers added that the firm has also seen a 100 per cent increase in enquiries about pre-nuptial agreements in June, compared to February, ahead of a summer full of weddings.
The Covid-19 effect on divorce enquiries
In February 2021, senior associate Lucy Stewart-Gould spoke to The Times about the reasons behind the increase in the number of divorce enquiries. Lucy correctly predicted then that the uptick in divorce enquiries would be unlikely to slow down in 2021.
Carly Kinch spoke to BBC Worklife in December 2020 about some of the potential reasons divorce enquiries are up in 2020. Data collected by the firm suggests a 122% increase in enquiries between June and October 2020.
Emma Hatley explained to Sky News in November 2020 that there are spikes in divorce enquires usually come after prolonged periods of family time, with the lockdown of that year flattening the September peak and bringing in a steady stream of enquiries.
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