11th May 2020
Married couples up and down the country have had to adjust to a new way of life, living under the new strict lockdown rules. For many, lockdown has been the straw that broke the camel’s back as strained relationships are put to the test.
Lots of couples are used to some independence or time apart as each goes about their daily routine. Many have their workplace, gym or hobbies as an escape or time apart that they have become used to. Along with the support of family and friends also being taken away, this can lead to tension between spouses.
With couples thrust together, many working from home under the same roof – marital problems are placed under the microscope. Add to this financial worries, stress and poor mental health and you have a breeding ground for arguments and people calling time on their relationships.
It is most prevalent in marriages that are already close to the edge of separation, but even newer, happier marriages are being tested during these unprecedented times when couples are not able to enjoy the lifestyle they are used to.
Those in abusive relationships may feel trapped under the same roof as their partner and there has been a lot of media attention and concern for those in violent or emotionally abusive relationships with limited access to support networks or escape.
If you are keen not to fall victim to the corona divorce statistics, then it is important to set boundaries and give each other space. Working in separate rooms or taking time alone to go for a walk or exercise is a good way to keep some much-needed time to yourself. It can also be helpful to keep in touch with your friends and family. Taking part in Zoom calls, video quizzes etc can give you some social interaction and support from those who know you best.
Try to ensure that you still spend quality time together rather than just quantity of time together. Cook for one another, take your daily walk together, play board games or watch a box-set together during lockdown. This will break the daily grind and give you something to look forward to together.
Mental health is really tested during these strange times. Many people have lots to worry about, the uncertainty of the future and lack of support can be extremely difficult for those who struggle with their mental health. Couples need to be helping one another to avoid further strain being put on their relationship.
It is difficult to think clearly when you are stressed and anxious. It is important to recognise whether your feelings towards your spouse are permanent or a passing phase as a result of the lockdown. Will you still feel this way once the social distancing rules are relaxed? Or has this period of time made you reflect on your relationship?
Our family lawyers are very used to hearing from people who need us to ensure the upmost discretion. Of course this is all the more so when couples are still living together or there are concerns for their safety. With couples having very little time apart, it can be tricky to find a moment to speak to a divorce lawyer.
We are able to discuss matters with you over a secure email or can schedule a phone call or video call at a time that suits you. It is not unusual for people to get in touch whilst their partner is out. We can fit in around you during these difficult times and are understanding of your complex situation.
Parts of China have already seen a spike in divorce rates once their lockdown measures were lifted and it remains to be seen whether a similar pattern here in the UK due to relationships reaching breaking point. If you are giving some serious thought to calling time on your relationship, then we are ready to assist. Whilst you potentially have more time on your hands due to fewer social and work commitments, now can actually be a good opportunity to schedule the time to get your personal legal affairs in order.
To make a start on divorce proceedings, the first step is having an initial meeting (be that over the phone or through video conferencing) with a specialist family lawyer to discuss your situation. Here you will find out all you need to know in order to make an informed decision and get the ball rolling.
For more information or to book a consultation, please contact our Head of Family, Rob Parker on 01256 305 530 or firstname.lastname@example.org or speak to our online chat assistant via our website.
How Might COVID-19 Affect Relationships
Reassuring Children During Lockdown
Riding the Roller Coaster of Divorce
The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.
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