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A rise in filing for divorce from the COVID-19 lockdown

16 Dec 2020

With the first lockdown announced by the UK government on 23rd March 2020 in an attempt to halt the spread of Coronavirus, people across the country were only able to travel for essential purposes.

This has continued through the year as cities enter in and out of restrictions, with a tier system now being imposed across the UK. For many couples, this has meant a strain on their relationship as they were faced with the uncertainty of the pandemic which resulted in them spending an unprecedented amount of time together at home.

How has lockdown impacted divorce enquiries

In fact, we found that that searches for “I want a divorce” had risen by 154% during the first lockdown as couples face a strain on their relationships from the pressure of the pandemic.

As we enter 2021, we conducted research using data from Google trends to assess how the pandemic has impacted divorce rates compared to this time last year.

Our research showed that, with Christmas right around the corner, the number of Google searches for “quickie divorce” is up by over 235% compared to December 2019.

The research, conducted for Divorce Day 2021 (January 4th), highlights increases of over 200% for the likes of “filing for divorce”, “quickie divorce” and “divorce lawyer near me”. This data, measuring interest on Google, compares the second week of December 2019 to the 6th-12th December 2020.

Divorce day, the first working Monday of the year, is the day where lawyers receive the highest new enquiries from unhappy couples. Our research shows interest for the term “get divorce quick” grew by 68.97% during 6th – 12th December 2020, a record predicted to rise for Divorce Day in January 2021.

A rise in searches for divorces

Google data comparing December 19’ to December ’20

  • Filing for divorce has risen by 566.67%
  • Quickie divorce has risen by 235.71%
  • Divorce lawyer near me has risen by 233.33%
  • I want to divorce has risen by 169.70%
  • Get divorce quick has risen by 68.97%
  • Divorce has risen by 40.43%
  • How to divorce has risen by 33.33%
  • Divorce lawyer has risen by 12.5%

Jane Chandler, Consultant Solicitor at Richard Nelson LLP said:

“Living in lockdown during the coronavirus crisis has placed a strain on many relationships across the UK. Where problems already exist, with the stress of creating the perfect Christmas and the money troubles which often accompany this, many couples often find the Christmas period to be the final straw in their relationship.

“The stress of worrying whether they can spend time with relatives, keep their family safe and the giving and receiving of presents can be overwhelming for some people. Many will hang on for the Christmas period, often for the sake of their children and family, but the threads of their relationship unravel shortly after. For Divorce Day 2021, we predict divorce enquiries will continue to peak, especially considering the increased rate of enquiries we dealt with over the period of Divorce Day 2020.”

Get in touch with our specialist family and divorce lawyers today for a free call back in strict confidence if anything in this blog affects you.

Marie Dancer

Written by Marie Dancer

Since joining Richard Nelson LLP in 2003, Marie Dancer became a Partner in 2009 before becoming the Managing Partner in 2015. Marie is a highly regarded professional disciplinary lawyer who defends a variety of healthcare and teaching professionals in fitness to practise investigations.

Read more about Marie Dancer.

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