Friday 13 August 2021 11:00 am

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.

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.