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The number of divorces actually fell in 2020 compared to 2019 – for good reason

January 23, 2021 Speech Box

There’s a good reason why the number of divorces has recently fallen, writes Louise Barretto, Head of our Family Law team.

According to data reported by FT Adviser the number of divorces in the UK ‘unexpectedly fell’, by 8 per cent to 108,900 in the year to September 30 from 118,100 in the previous year.

The publication quotes a partner at the law firm who obtained the data from the Ministry of Justice, that lockdown had in fact not triggered a big jump in divorces, as originally predicted: “The lockdown has placed relationships under tremendous pressure but on these statistics, it hasn’t caused these relationships to buckle and break.

“Some people may not have gone ahead with divorces as they are in a time of such financial and employment uncertainty.

“Other couples are pausing to think about what really matters to them and finding a way to stay together.”

In my opinion lockdown itself is the contributory factor for the reasons couples have found it hard – or next to impossible – to have the confidential discussions needed with their advisers.

It’s much easier to eavesdrop on the discussions your partner might be having with their solicitor if you’re both close together in the same home. Then there’s the complication of being overheard by the children and wanting to shield them from hearing anything which might destabilize their lives even further.

Sadly, once lockdown restrictions have eased I predict 2021 will break all previous records for couples wanting to legally separate. If you’re one of those people – or know someone who could be – these two articles might provide some pointers and reassurance that good help is available and children need not suffer too greatly, with careful planning.

A less painful divorce
Supporting children through the divorce process

Our Family lawyers have the knowledge and experience to guide you through these challenging times and have rankings in both Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500 for their expertise.

If you are affected by similar issues or would like to have a related discussion in confidence, please call me on 020 7091 2869 or email

The above is accurate as at 4th January 2021. The information above may be subject to change during these ever-changing times.

The content of this note should not be considered legal advice and each matter should be considered on a case by case basis.

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