Coronavirus: Divorce rates could rise as couples take to isolation, according to lawyer

18 March 2020, 11:03

The lawyer said a raise in divorces could be sparked by "simmering tensions" coming to the surface during isolation
The lawyer said a raise in divorces could be sparked by "simmering tensions" coming to the surface during isolation. Picture: Pixabay
Rachael Kennedy

By Rachael Kennedy

Divorce rates are "very likely" to rise as couples are forced to spend lengthy periods of time in isolation amid coronavirus, according to a top lawyer.

Baroness Shackleton of Belgravia, a leading divorce lawyer who has represented the likes of Sir Paul McCartney, the Prince of Wales, Madonna and Liam Gallagher, said the long exposure in voluntary confinement could lead to such adverse effects.

She said: "The prediction amongst divorce lawyers is that following self-imposed confinement it is very likely that the divorce rate will rise.

"Our peak times are after long exposure during the summer holidays and over Christmas.

"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."

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Speaking in the House of Lords during the second reading of the Private International Law (Implementation of Agreements) Bill, the baronness also raised concerns about the provision relating to divorce post-Brexit.

"When we leave the EU there will be an enormous vacuum and there has been no direction to the judges or the people who practice in this area as to what is going to happen," she said.

Her comments this week come after another divorce lawyer, Amanda Rimmer, said confinement from Covid-19 could bring a couple's "simmering tensions" to the surface.

She said: "For some, the prospect of being quarantined with their partner will be a welcome opportunity to spend time together, yet for others, it may force simmering tensions in their relationship to rise to the surface.

"Often when couples face serious and stressful situations it can lead some to re-evaluate their lives and what is important to them.

"While we all try to navigate this pandemic as best as possible, it wouldn't surprise me if, when the dust settles, we do see an increase in couples seeking to end their relationship."

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