New Year divorce rate expected to soar in 2021

Lancashire solicitor says enquiries are already on the up

This January is expected to see one of the highest divorce enquiry rates ever.

Staff at Lancashire’s Vincents Solicitors are preparing to respond to a spike in calls on so called ‘Divorce Day’, January 4th 2021, the first working day after the break.

The start of the new year is traditionally a time when couples consider separation, but numbers are likely to rise due to the added impact of the pandemic. Vincents has already seen an increase in enquiries year-on-year throughout 2020.

The intensity of spending more time together over the festive season and the high cost of Christmas often creates pressures which reveal cracks in a relationship. Family politics, debt worries, alcohol over-indulgence are all traditional triggers for divorce come the new year.

Add that to the powder keg of stress caused by the Covid crisis – forced lockdown, health concerns, different opinions over adherence to the rules, frustration with movement restrictions, job losses and worries over income security – and the scene is set for an explosive Christmas for some.

Vincents Solicitors’ Mark Mosley, an experienced divorce lawyer for almost 30 years, said:
“This combination may prove to be the final straw for relationships which were already strained, and were perhaps only being saved by the couple leading somewhat separate lives. So working from home together, not being able to see friends and let off steam, the added pressure of home schooling or going without childcare, all serve to deepen those personal frustrations.

“The loss of comfortable, familiar routine and any external outlets for frustration or the chance to recharge – enjoying the pub, a book group, team sports, girls / lads nights out - even the reduction in physical activity which is well known to create happy hormones, have contributes to stress and more severe mental health problems which, in themselves, can cause break ups.”

“Newly- and recently-weds are also making up a higher proportion than ever before, as couples face a major life challenge and upheaval in their way of life. Such situations can either bring people together or force them apart.

“Financial problems caused by the pandemic are also to blame. Research has found that divorce rate increase in times of recession or economic downturn and money issues are acknowledged as one of the leading causes of relationship breakdown.

“Redundancies and losses to business owners caused by Lockdown and Tier Restrictions will be fuelling that element. Even those staying together because finances currently make it difficult to separate, the new year might provide the trigger for them to make the move and leave.

“It is tremendously sad but for many it is the only way they see able to move on with their lives. The important thing is to ensure any children in the relationship are protected from the fall out of their parent’s separation, whatever the reason for the split.”

As a member of Resolution, the relationship advice group, Mr Mosley recommend mediation and making attempts to keep the split amicable., particularly if there are children involved. For information and advice regarding divorce and mediation, contact Mark Mosley directly on 01772 205 404 or email or visit the resolution

Pictured: Mark Mosley, head of family law at Vincents Solicitors