It has been reported that in China and America that there has been increase in divorce rates and consultations about divorce since the COVID-19 outbreak. The current forced lockdown situation that couples face is something that has not been seen before and forces everyone to spend in most cases 24/7 together. For some this will be a positive experience but for others it will intensify any problems that had previously existed.
On 23rd March 2020, the UK government issued its ‘Staying at Home and Away from Other People’ rules to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The rules order people to stay in their homes except for food, medical reasons or to work if they are unable to work from home or are considered a key worker. As a result, the majority of people are spending far more time at home with their spouses/partners and are unable to socialise with friends or other family members. Additionally, many people are concerned about their finances, employment situation or health risks. Unfortunately, this can lead to increased tensions in the home, and a tendency for arguments to occur over issues that would not arise under normal circumstances.
Maintaining clear communication in your relationship at this difficult time will be vital to maintaining a healthy relationship. You and your partner will benefit from taking time to enjoy activities separately even when you are confined to the same building at all times. For example, you may wish to each go out separately for the purposes of exercise, or to allocate time to spend on your respective hobbies undisturbed in different rooms. You should also keep in contact with your external support network by staying in communication with friends and family over the phone.
If you do struggle with problems in your relationship due to COVID-19, you may wish to consider Relate counselling. Many providers are adapting to the current crisis and offering online services to support couples during this difficult time.
If you are unable to resolve these issues and consider that your relationship has broken down or just wish to get some guidance about where you stand, all of the family solicitors at Ellisons are members of Resolution which means that we follow the Resolution Code of Practice. We look to ensure that even when divorcing or separating, parties can reach an agreement in a constructive and non-confrontational manner.
At Ellisons, we remain committed to helping you during these difficult times and are able to offer initial appointments by telephone. If you would like to talk to one of our family lawyers please get in touch.
COVID-19: In these extraordinary times we recognise how difficult it is to find time to do everything, let alone seek legal advice. This is especially the case where you are living with your partner or spouse and are considering separating, or have your children with you during the day.
Therefore, we are now able to offer flexible telephone appointments to meet your personal needs, whether that is in the evenings, early mornings or weekends as well as our usual office hours. Our usual fixed fee of £180 including VAT for up to one hour still applies regardless of the time of the appointment. If making that initial call to book an appointment is difficult please email us at [email protected] in the first instance and we can arrange a meeting by email.