Divorce rates and inquiries have dramatically increased across the world because of lockdowns brought by governments intended to stop the spread of COVID-19. The stress of the pandemic, coupled with being confined in close quarters for weeks, added financial worries and increased childcare responsibilities are thought to be behind this increase.
Back in March, Baroness Shackleton of Belgravia, one of the UK’s most eminent family law lawyers told her peers at Westminister: “The prediction amongst divorce lawyers is that following self-imposed confinement it is very likely that the divorce rate will rise.” She further noted: “”One only has to imagine what it’s going to be like when families are sealed in a property for a long period of time.”
As China emerged from lockdown in March, numerous cities across China reported large increases in divorce filings. Specific numbers are not available as China only releases statistics on divorces annually.
Saudi Arabia saw an increase in divorce rates during lockdown as well, with a reported increase of 30% compared to last year. In Japan, the term “corona divorce” is trending on Twitter and divorce rates have grown since lockdown.
In Australia, a study on the impacts of Covid-19, reported 42% of people surveyed experienced a negative change in their romantic relationship since March. Family law lawyers in the U.K. reported a significant rise in divorce inquiries since March and in Italy, family law lawyers noted a 30% increase in divorce filings.
Family law lawyers in North America made predictions in early March and April that there would be a surge in divorce applications once lockdowns eased. Divorce inquiries across North America skyrocketed since lockdowns began with family law lawyers across the continent reporting increased divorce inquiries of 30 to 40%.
Whether these predictions prove to be true is yet to be determined. The Ontario Superior Court of Justice, which oversees divorces in Ontario, suspended regular operations during the lockdown and are only now starting to accept filings of divorce applications. Courts throughout the United States also operated on a limited basis throughout lockdown and are also only now opening.
At Gilbertson Davis LLP, our family law counsel can assist with your divorce and separation inquiries. We offer advice to and represent clients on a full range of family law matters, including divorce, separation, child support, spousal support, child custody and access, division of property, and domestic contracts. Our mission is to provide creative, sensible, cost-effective and long-term resolutions to family law disputes. Please contact Gilbertson Davis LLP to schedule a consultation.