Online searches for ‘how to get a divorce’ are soaring - here’s why

The coronavirus pandemic is said to be creating a strain on many relationships, with a rise in internet searches surrounding divorce proceedings, according to Citizens Advice (Photo: Shutterstock)

The coronavirus pandemic is said to be creating a strain on many relationships, with a rise in internet searches surrounding divorce proceedings, according to Citizens Advice.

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Family lawyers are now predicting a ‘post-lockdown divorce boom’, reports the BBC, after the Citizens Advice divorce web page received more than 2,200 views on the first weekend of September - up by 25 per cent compared with the same date in 2019.

Rise in divorce searches

Data from Citizens Advice showed searches for advice regarding divorces peaked on Sundays, with the relevant web page being in the top two most-viewed on its website for the past four weekends in a row.

Tom MacInnes, chief analyst for Citizens Advice, said, "We know that this pandemic has put an enormous strain on people financially but our data shows that strain is also being felt in people's relationships."

Divorce rate could rise

Law firm Slater and Gordon said the pandemic had "exacerbated" marriage problems, with an increase in conveyancing instructions, which includes the transfer of legal title of real property from one person to another, "signalling an increase in couples separating and wanting to sell their properties.”

Family lawyer, Georgina Chase, said, "It's an extreme change of circumstances for spouses and any issues in the marriage have been compounded by lockdown, that's where we are seeing the increase. It's the straw that broke the camel's back."

Earlier in the year, Co-op Legal Services said it had seen an increase of 42 per cent in divorce inquiries between 23 March and mid-May, compared with the same period in 2019.

At the time, the law firm said that, although the lockdown period has been a chance for households to spend time together, it has also prompted some couples who were considering divorce to take the next step in proceedings.