Recent reports show that there has been a rise in enquiries for divorce lawyers and relationship counsellors during the coronavirus "lockdown". The "lockdown" has affected every part of our lives whilst many try to grapple with working from home, home-schooling, sharing childcare, organising the finances and generally spending a lot more time together as a family unit. This has put an additional strain on some couples' relationships and marriages. For some, who may have already been at breaking point, it is the final straw.
Some have sought professional help to try and save their relationship or marriage. Relate, one of the largest organisations providing relationship support, have seen a 20% increase in website traffic since the lockdown. Despite the current difficulties, Relate are still able to offer their services to couples and are offering telephone counselling and live web chat services. They are also offering tips for keeping relationships healthy during lockdown. This is a much needed lifeline for many couples.
For others they may have taken the decision to break up, and if married, seek divorce proceedings. Separation is never easy but can be particularly stressful in the context of a global pandemic. Given the current circumstances, it may be difficult for people to find time to make enquiries alone and as a result, have been finding different ways to communicate with their family lawyer using the wealth of technology that we have at our finger tips. Some people may only be able to contact a lawyer on their lunch break or when they are able to leave the house for exercise or for essential shopping. Some are deciding to text or Whatsapp their lawyer rather than using the more "traditional" methods. As lockdown restrictions now begin to ease, it may become easier for people to access advice that they need.
Several Chinese cities reported an increase in divorce proceedings when emerging from their "lockdown". Despite the current reports, it remains to be seen whether the same will happen in the UK when we emerge from these difficult times. It will be interesting to see what the pandemic's effect on modern love and relationship will be as it continues to unfold over the coming weeks and months.
For those looking to start divorce proceedings, it is still possible to do this during lockdown and Court staff are continuing to work, with home working where possible. You can start divorce proceedings online and usually there is no need to attend Court. Dissolving the marriage is often the most straightforward part. Alongside that, it is important to look at sorting out arrangements for the finances and for children.
As a firm we are continuing to operate as usual with many of our employees working remotely from home. All our services remain fully accessible. In order to reduce the need for face-to-face meetings in accordance with the social distancing guidelines, all of our teams, including our Family team are providing telephone or video conferencing appointments. We are able to arrange appointments discreetly, at a time that suits you including those that are "out of hours".
If you would like to seek advice on any family law issues, especially those arising out of the current Coronavirus epidemic, please contact our dedicated Client Relations Team on 01603 693500 or email us using the 'Make an enquiry' form on our website.
At Clapham & Collinge we have a dedicated team of experts who are able to provide you with all of the necessary information, support and legal advice on family law. Click here for more information on the family law services we offer.
*This article is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or other professional advice.