Divorce rate “could fall” as couples delay proceedings over lockdown, study reveals

The coronavirus pandemic could reduce the divorce rate as partners delay proceedings, a major study has revealed.

The report, published by legal financier Ampla Finance, comes after earlier research predicted a surge in separations due to economic issues and isolation.

According to the survey of more than 1,000 adults, 28 per cent said they would be “less likely to pursue divorce due to the Covid-19 crisis”.

This is compared to six per cent who said the outbreak would increase the likelihood they would follow through with proceedings, and 66 per cent who said the pandemic would not factor in their decision.

The study also revealed a difference in how men and women have responded to the crisis. The poll shows that eight per cent of women said they would be “more likely” to start proceedings, compared to just three per cent of men.

Correspondingly, a third of men said they would be “less likely” to continue proceedings, compared to a quarter of women.

The study comes after a national law firm reported a “surge” in divorce enquiries during the first month of the coronavirus lockdown. The figures show that interest in divorce increased by 42 per cent in March compared to the same period a year ago.

Commenting on the findings, experts said concerns about finances and the future, combined with prolonged periods of isolation, could overwhelm already strained relationships.

For family law support, please get in touch with our expert Family & Relationships team at Mackrell.Solicitors today. 

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Alison Green
Alison joined Mackrell.Solicitors in 1989 and qualified as a solicitor in 1991, becoming a partner in the firm in 2010. Her expertise covers matrimonial work, including divorce and the associated financial and children issues; pre and post-nuptial agreements; co-habitation disputes; civil partnership agreements and the breakdown of civil partnerships.