Why is the pandemic resulting in an increase in divorce and separation?

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a huge strain on relationships. Citizens Advice reported that the pandemic has resulted in a 25% increase in views to its divorce page. Divorce enquiries and applications have been on the increase since the start of the pandemic and many divorce lawyers are predicting a continued upsurge in separations following the easing of restrictions.

Divorce lawyers often report an increase in divorce and separation enquiries following periods when families spend a lot of time together, such as the school summer holidays and Christmas. Spending an extended period of time together can sometimes bring the relationship difficulties to the fore and can result in a break up.

The lockdowns forced many couples and families to not only spend a prolonged period of time together, but also added many additional pressures and strains into the mix. Home schooling, entertaining children stuck at home, home working, social isolation, worries about the safety of loved ones, furlough, redundancy, financial worries and generalised anxiety about the pandemic have created a perfect storm which many relationships have been unable to weather.

The rollout of the vaccine programme has allowed most of the restrictions to be eased or removed all together and has allowed life for many to return to close to what it was prior to the onset of the pandemic. However, the rise in divorce and separation is expected to continue.

In many cases, the pandemic has resulted in “nesting”. This term has emerged over the pandemic to describe a situation where a couple breaks up but decides to continue living together. In many cases, the financial uncertainties and difficulties in viewing and securing new accommodation made nesting a convenient option. Nesting also helped some couples minimise the impact of the separation on their children at what was already a very difficult and distressing time.

However, nesting can potentially put additional strain on a separated couple. For most, nesting will be a temporary situation and many separated couples will be looking to move to separate dwellings now that society has largely opened up again.

Another contributing factor is that the pandemic has caused many people to reflect upon the life they currently have and consider the life they want in the future. This has been a major driving force behind “The Great Resignation” which has seen workers quitting their jobs in droves across the world. Many workers have quit in search of better hours, conditions, flexibility or family friendly policies. In April 2021, 4 million workers resigned from their positions in the US. This was the highest level of resignations that the US has seen in the past 20 years.

Ultimately, many workers have come to the conclusion that life is too short to spend it working in a job that makes them unhappy or does not align with their values.

As the pandemic has forced us to reflect on our working lives, so too has it caused many to reflect upon their home lives and relationships. It is this shift in mentality towards people considering what their really want from their life that many experts believe will drive the continued rise in separations into 2022.

This article was provided by https://www.familylawliverpool.co.uk/.

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