Divorce during Covid

A Look At Divorce During Covid

2020 has been a difficult year for us all, whether it has been a loss of income or a loss of the ones closest to you. Covid-19 has put a lot of stress on relationships as many people have lost their jobs and stock markets have fluctuated, while some marriages may come out stronger others have resulted in a separation. Let’s talk about how Covid-19 has impacted relationships as well as how the court systems have adjusted to the strenuous time.

When the Corona Virus went worldwide in March many families and couples were anticipating a tough time but also looking forward to spending time with their families and spouses. Businesses and services have slowly started opening up again for the time being, this includes the courts and processing systems.

Law firms describe the current COVID-19 pandemic as a perfect storm with multiple levels of lockdowns and social distancing which causes couples to spend more time together where they would usually be spending time at work or with the kids. It has been a catalyst for separations as daily routines have usually masked the underlying issues in relationships. The reasons for divorce are still the same, whether one partner is unhappy with the situation or things at home are not getting better, COVID-19 just bought it into focus now.

Many divorce attorneys were not surprised by the increase in divorce applications after the first hard lockdown ended, divorces usually spike after families spend a prolonged time together, for example during the festive seasons and school breaks. A leading British law firm called Stewarts has seen that roughly 75% of all divorces have been initiated by female customers, they concluded that this was because of the disproportionate share of domestic work. With both partners working from home, it is expected that both parties will help share the load of housework and child care that needs to be done but the reality was in fact a far cry from that.

Divorce process during covid

Relationship experts have also discovered that even the strongest of couples, who, before COVID-19 had no issues and no problems were now susceptible to divorce. This is mainly because the usual routines and rhythms that offered comfort and stability were now put into disarray. Without these pillars in their life this causes couples to seek other forms of stimulation and support outside of their relationship which might add additional strain.

Newly wedded couples have also come under strain during the pandemic, unfortunately in the early days, they are not equipped with the skills and coping mechanisms that come with 20+ years of marriage and the trials and tribulations that older couples have had to overcome. With a lifestyle that has had to take a back seat and the complete opposite perception of what a happy married life entails.

Money is already a big issue when it comes to divorce rates, the pandemic only added to the increased pressure with loss of income from both partners with some even being retrenched. Money increases the strain on the personal relationships of the partners with having to prioritise spending when previously it was not a problem. Being retrenched can also have mental side effects and a loss of self-esteem from one or more partners. This is especially true in men, whereby the ego will take a beating and self-worth will be lowered. This can manifest in many ways such as anger, frustration, and anxiety.

Unlike other crises that our country has seen the pandemic has hit entertainment, tourism, and leisure workers the hardest which are already low-income sectors for employees. These employees are often the ones who need the money the most and with very little savings. This has caused a huge influx of separation in low-income families who often opt for uncontested divorces to save themselves money that often comes with a contested divorce.

Many divorce attorneys, including SKV, have seen an increase in spouses that are “gathering information” for when they are in a more secure place to go through with a divorce, Stewart’s law firm in the UK states that they have been inundated with requests for information and how they will proceed with divorce; what are the consequences, costs, and processes.

One positive that the pandemic has bought about is that people are now starting to re-evaluate their lives and are having an introspective look at exactly what they want out of life. Whether it be a change of lifestyle, possibly moving countries, or just being closer to their families. The pressures of the pandemic have reminded us that life is short are we need to evaluate how and with whom we spend our little time remaining.

Depending on what divorce you and your spouse of opted for, it would change the process. There are two types of divorces, uncontested and contested divorces. In the case of an uncontested divorce, the courts have allowed the parties to not appear in court or appear in an online session where the divorce will more than likely be granted unless there are some pertinent issues. SKV Attorneys can help you with the process of an uncontested divorce in an easy and effective manner.

Contested divorces are slightly different as there is a lot more deliberation and discussions taking place. Many firms including SKV allow our clients to converse over a Skype or Zoom meeting to make it as safe as possible. Courts are also allowing online sessions to help stop the spread whereas previously this was not the case. We might just be seeing a whole new way of divorces being conducted.

In conclusion, the pandemic has hit us all hard, from low-income families to newlyweds. If you are thinking about separating from your spouse during this time please do not hesitate to contact us. We are available for queries and questions regarding divorce. Please stay safe and look after your loved ones.

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