For the last two years, COVID-19 has affected every aspect of our lives due to efforts made to curb the spread of the virus and to treat those who have become ill.
Restrictions on people’s movements and interactions with each other, as well as limits on our personal freedoms and rights have caused immense strain on people emotionally, financially and socially.
In Australia we have seen state wide lockdowns, in some cases lasting for months at a time. This has led to families living in constant proximity together, with parents juggling work from home and home schooling. It has also affected many people’s employment and livelihoods.
As a result of all of this, the pandemic appears to have had a real impact on people’s relationships with their family and friends, with employers and work colleagues, and in some cases, with their intimate family and spousal relationships.
The statistics obtained from court records are now showing that the divorce rate throughout Australia has increased during this pandemic, particularly in the states where lockdowns have lasted for a considerable period of time.
According to an article published in The Advertiser on 4 November 2021 entitled “Breaking up isn’t hard to do in lockdowns”, 30 to 40% of couples in NSW and Victoria have indicated that COVID-19 has strained their relationship with their partner; and between 7.5 to 9% of couples have considered separating.
While in South Australia, around 10% of couples have reported a strain in their relationship caused by COVID-19 and 2% have considered separating.
Hopefully some of the families that have become separated as a result of this pandemic, whether by choice or by circumstance, will find their way back to each other and be able to repair after the effects of COVID-19 are reduced.
However, for families that are now separated, you may need legal advice in sorting out your arrangements for the care of your children and your division of property.
While it is unclear what the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will be, particularly on family relationships; it is clear that the effects will be long lasting and that this virus has had a life changing effect on us all.
Should you have any questions about the process of separation and divorce or if you need assistance, please contact our family law team.