I have been a family lawyer for over 16 years (eek!) and in that time I have generally observed patterns in new enquiries from clients for separation and divorce work often peaking either in the New Year (latterly around February time) and in September once the children have gone back to school.
Of course, this year so far, has definitely not been quite like anything we have seen before! The lockdown, uncertainty in employment, children off school and at home for many months, anxiety, isolation, illness and even bereavement have meant that for many individuals in unhappy or difficult relationships, this has simply not been the right time to separate.
For many, the lockdown has been and continues to be, a truly frightening time. Victims of domestic abuse have felt trapped with their abuser and those in controlling relationships have had no respite.
The media in their wisdom, suggest that there will be a massive increase in divorce work once some normality is resumed. They love to talk about “Divorce Day” in January (a phrase I hate!) so who knows what they will call this – but time will tell. My own instinct is that we will see a slower and more gradual increase in separation and divorce work as we all slowly grow in confidence in our own changed lives. Just as some normality starts to resume and engagements and weddings start to increase over time, so too will separations and divorces sadly.
If separation from a partner is something that you have found yourself contemplating recently and you would like some clear advice on your options before making the step, I would be happy to have an initial chat with you in complete confidence with no obligation to move forwards if you are unsure or just not ready.
Please feel free to give me a call on 020 7504 7071 ext 2112 or email me at Elizabeth.firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a convenient telephone appointment.