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Covid lockdown ‘WON’T lead to a soaring divorce rate’ across the UK, shows new research 

Covid lockdown ‘WON’T lead to a soaring divorce rate’ across the UK, shows new research

  • Pro-marriage campaigners claim official commitment helps couples in distress
  • The Marriage Foundation claims 1pc of mothers and fathers want to divorce 
  • They claim the past 11 months of lockdown have seen relationships strengthen
  • However, the foundation claims cohabiting couples are more likely to separate 

Fears that the Covid pandemic could fuel a ‘divorce boom’ are misplaced, according to new research into the state of relationships across the UK.

Despite the strains of lockdown and home-schooling, married couples with children are twice as likely to say their relationship has improved rather than deteriorated.

Pro-marriage campaigners claim their study of 3,005 parents shows that an official commitment has helped couples to better weather the uncertainty of the past 11 months.

Pro-marriage campaigners claim their study of 3,005 parents shows that an official commitment has helped couples to better weather the uncertainty of the past 11 months

Among married parents, just one per cent of fathers and 0.7 per cent of mothers are actively considering divorce, according to the report by the Marriage Foundation

Among married parents, just one per cent of fathers and 0.7 per cent of mothers are actively considering divorce, according to the report by the Marriage Foundation

Among married parents, just one per cent of fathers and 0.7 per cent of mothers are actively considering divorce, according to the report by the Marriage Foundation.

These figures are down from 2.5 per cent and 5.6 per cent respectively from a study conducted from 2017 to 2019.

And although cohabiting parents are more likely to be considering a separation – 1.6 per cent of men and 0.9 per cent of women – the figures are way down on pre-Covid levels of 3.1 per cent and 7.8 per cent.

Marriage Foundation founder Sir Paul Coleridge said: ‘There is unlikely to be a divorce boom in 2021 as couples have faced the pandemic together. Quite the contrary, the evidence points to those couples who already display high levels of commitment to one another have benefited from spending more time together.’

The findings, taken from Office for National Statistics data and a UK Household study, run counter to previous study results which suggested the increased amount of time spent together was putting strain on existing relationships.

Law firm Stewarts has reported a 122 per cent year-on-year increase in divorce enquiries, while staff at Citizens Advice said there has been a spike in searches for advice on ending a relationship.

Family lawyer Emma Gill, of Vardags, warned her firm had seen ‘an explosion’ of cases in November and December.

She added: ‘I think that when restrictions are eased, we will see a giant uptick. Divorces have not fallen off a cliff.’

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