Susan J Williams Partner and Head of Family Department (Cardiff)
Relationships in 'Lockdown: Part Two'
On the 29 October 2020, The Times ran an article titled “Can your relationship survive the second wave?”. As Wales comes out of a “firebreak” lockdown on 9 November 2020, and England starts a month-long lockdown from 5 November 2020 - this is a very timely question to ask.
Relationships have been put under enormous strain as couples and families have had to adjust – from competing for space to work from home, to home-schooling, the loss of jobs, financial worries, living in close proximity of one another day in day out, having their mental health and wellbeing affected - all in addition to the worry of the pandemic itself.
All of these are key factors that push couples coping strategies to breaking point.
Increase in separation and marital breakdown
It is true that there has been an increase in the number of enquiries about bringing relationships to an end - whether that is a marriage, a civil partnership or couples co-habiting with one another.
There will be those people who decided that they would try living together during the first lockdown, a romantic gesture being in it together, but when reality dawned, realised that it wasn’t as romantic as they thought and are looking to recapture their independence only to be faced with yet another lockdown.
Of course, there will be those relationships that were already experiencing difficulties pre Covid-19 and had those differences magnified during the lockdown, reinforcing the need to bring the relationship to an end.
These are unprecedented times, which are having unprecedented effects on family life.
The perfect time to divorce?
There is never a “perfect” time to end a relationship but making that decision whilst ping-ponging in and out of lockdown can make it all the more difficult for many.
Thankfully, services to support families going through difficult relationships have adapted to the new Covid-19 world, with solicitors, mediation services and support services all offering advice and guidance remotely; whether that be over the telephone or through video conferencing. The courts have adapted to a new way of working digitally and whilst there has been hiccups along the way clients are able to make decisions about their relationship and plan for their future.
Our family law specialists
Our family team provide the support, care and specialist legal advice that will help you navigate your way through the process of bringing your relationship to an end in a constructive way; reducing conflict and helping you to re-build your future. We provide our clients with long-lasting solutions regarding financial matters and child arrangements protecting you now and in the years to come. Knowing that you have someone on your side whether you are in lockdown or in the post-lockdown era is the reassurance that you need - and the service that Ince prides itself on delivering.