Baby boom or divorce curious?

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Increase in birth rates vs increase in divorce lawyer visits

As we start to see daylight at the end of the pandemic- nightclubs opening, foreign travel allowed, schools reopening with fewer restrictions- one of the questions that many people have been debating is whether the outcome of families spending 24/7 together will be a dramatic increase in the birth rates or in couples rushing to see a divorce lawyer.

The divorce curious

Whilst it is too soon to see whether it will be the birth rate or the divorce rate that increases what I have noticed is an increase in the past few months of clients who haven’t actually separated but are ‘divorce curious’. They are looking for advice on the potential consequences of ending their marriage/relationship.  Some may go on to decide to separate, others may decide to pick ‘the right time’ (often considered to be a key stage for children like leaving school) and for some who have been left feeling more fragile by the impact of the pandemic the financial and emotional upheaval that divorce can bring may just be too much to cope with.

What we don’t know of course is whether the ‘divorce curious’ clients are curious because of the stresses and strains of juggling work, home schooling and any financial pressures that the pandemic has created i.e. is this simply a ‘bump in the road that they can get past or whether it has exacerbated an already troubled relationship.

The lockdown dilemma 

Interestingly one client referred her lockdown dilemma to that of the female lead in the most talked about programme on Netflix in recent months- Sex/Life. What lockdown had taught her was the fragility of life and time at home had led her to reflect on what she wanted from her future. For anyone who hasn’t seen the show, the female protagonist seemingly has the “perfect life” with beautiful children and a loving husband.  However, she finds herself asking “ is this enough?” and reminiscing about the intensity of the passion she shared with her first love.

For viewers, the show raises some challenging ideas, and in particular seems to have split opinions on whether the protagonist is the hero or the villain in terms of how she deals with what objectively might be viewed as a “bump in the road”.  However, as those working in family law know; sometimes the “bump in the road” is too much of a mountain to overcome , similarly the glamorised ‘best of both worlds’ outcome is arguably much rarer in “real life”.

In reality whilst the breakdown of a relationship certainly can be as dramatic as portrayed on TV it is very rarely as glamourous. Whatever the circumstances of the breakup, be it the pandemic, pre-existing difficulties or being unfaithful the emotional and legal fallout is never easy and for some that comes as a huge shock. For that reason I applaud the ‘divorce curious’. Surely the decision to end a marriage is such a huge one that to obtain advice about the consequences before making that final decision can only be the right thing to do?

Contact our family law team

If you would like further information regarding the topics discussed in this blog, please contact:

Denise Laverty  by email: or by phone: 07841 921 985 / 0141 370 8130

Philippa Cunniff  by email: or by phone: 07487 800 526  / 0131 285 4792

You can also visit our Family Law Team page by clicking here.

The information and opinions contained in this blog are for information only. They are not intended to constitute advice and should not be relied upon or considered as a replacement for advice. Before acting on any of the information contained in this blog, please seek specific advice from Gilson Gray.


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