What has the lockdown meant for our relationships?
According to new figures from Co-op Legal Services, divorce enquiries have risen by 42% since the lockdown measures were introduced.
The coronavirus pandemic has been a mixed experience for families, with some relishing the time spent together, and others prompted to consider divorce.
Co-op usually expects a surge in divorce enquiries in January, following what can be a difficult festive season for some.
But the lockdown has seen divorce enquiries ranged from 42% to 75% higher than the equivalent weeks last year.
Friday is the most common day of the week for divorce enquiries, followed by Tuesday.
The least common day for couples enquiring about divorce is Sunday.
Co-op’s Head of Legal Services, Tracey Moloney, believes couples who have been considering separation for some time take that final step when they have more time on their hands.
“We know that divorce can be a difficult decision at any time, and often couples have already considered divorcing for a number of months and tried mediation before they begin the process.
“Currently, concerns about finances, employment, coupled with the fact that households are having to spend an increased amount of time together can add strain on relationships.
“However, divorce is life changing for all involved and so it’s really important that couples don’t go into divorce lightly and as a result of the current situation we find ourselves in.”
Tracey Moloney’s shared five tips on managing divorce during the Coronavirus lockdown:
Firstly, be prepared.
Divorce isn’t easy; it can lead to loneliness, a location change and drop-in confidence, amongst other things.
Preparing yourself for what’s to come can make it easier to deal with in the long run.
Seek out community groups or new hobbies that may help you to establish a new support network.
Secondly, remember that divorce is a life-changing decision.
Consider other resolutions to solve your problems beforehand. It may be that your extreme circumstances have pushed you to make a decision you would typically take longer to think about.
Tracey’s third tip is to think about relocation.
If nobody is at fault in the marriage, you will need to have lived separately for a considerable length of time, for a divorce to be granted, so think about the logistics of this while staying safe during this time.
Tip number four is to consider assessing your finances between you, for an outcome that will suit you both in the long run, which will save you both time and money.
However, be aware that what you think is fair may not be the same in the eyes of the law.
Finally, tip number five is to know your rights.
When children are involved in a divorce it can become more complicated. If the mother or father of your child is acting in a way that is preventing you from seeing your child, there may be action you can take such as getting a Court Order.