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The question of whether the lockdown will lead to more divorce is one I’ve talked about with the team at Debenhams Ottaway as well as family and friends. I hope not, but if the press reports from Wuhan are to be believed, it doubled after the 70 day very strict lockdown.

Our experience has been that for some people, slowing down and spending more time with their spouse or partner has actually reminded them of why they committed to the relationship in the first place. Our lockdown has not been as strict as many others and by and large we have benefited from a warm and sunny Spring which has allowed us all to get outside, if only once a day.

For others though who are struggling, it’s important that they are able to find confidential and constructive help and support. Depending on their circumstances, they may be able to call for advice when out exercising or shopping for food and other necessities. It is key that whoever they speak to agrees how and when communication will take place going forward to ensure a difficult situation isn’t made any more stressful. We can talk on the phone or have meetings via Zoom, Skype or FaceTime.

After an initial conversation with us, we would still recommend that they think carefully and don’t rush into any decisions. It may be worth considering family counselling either individually or together and it is always important to keep communicating with their spouse if at all possible.

As lockdown eases, it is becoming easier to spend time away from each other and this may be all that is needed.

However, if you are thinking of moving out, you will need to take into account the current Government guidelines on moving house which have relaxed considerably in recent weeks. It may not be sensible to move out before an agreement has been reached about how your family home and any other assets will be dealt with so please consider contacting us before deciding to move.

If domestic violence is involved, moving out may be the best course of action. It is also worth speaking to specialists who can help in this situation and signpost to other helpful agencies, if appropriate

If you are already in divorce proceedings, you are now able to proceed with house sales. You may however need to review any valuations, settlements and financial orders. Equally with the relaxing of lockdown, complying with child arrangement orders relating to the care of your children should become easier but it is still very important to keep to social distancing requirements.

Lockdown doesn’t cause divorce, but it may be what finally brings to a head issues that have been rumbling on for some time. If that is the case, please get in touch with us.

We have provided telephone numbers of local domestic violence helplines below.

  • Specialist Domestic Abuse Services (SAHWR) – 0330 102 5811
  • Relate based in St Albans – 01727 858126

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.