It’s no secret that the pandemic is affecting many of our core relationships, personally and professionally, but three lockdowns in, the increased demand for expert family advice carries on into 2021 for the family and divorce specialists at Farleys Solicitors.
Whilst there is a light at the end of the tunnel with the vaccine rollout and a return to normal hopefully in the near future – for many, family issues will continue and access to quality legal advice can be limited, particularly with Government enforced restrictions on social distancing and staying at home.
The firm has operated a free to access family legal advice clinic for over ten years for the local Lancashire community. Operating originally as an out of hours drop in clinic from the firm’s Lancashire offices on a Thursday evening, the clinic moved to an online service from March 2020, and saw over a 60% rise in demand for appointments; a trend which is continuing well into 2021 and expected for the foreseeable.
The traditional spike for divorce enquiries and family issues has always historically come as a result of couples spending extended time together, such as the end the Christmas holiday break or summer holidays. But forced time spent together, with little distraction and additional pressures has accelerated this significantly. A survey last year by Relate found nearly 25% of people felt lockdown had placed additional pressure on their relationship, followed up by a further survey in July reporting that 8% of people ended their relationship due to issues arising from the pandemic.
Whilst we await the official statistics for 2020, even ‘pre-pandemic’, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed a five year high in divorce rates recorded in 2019 at more than 100,000 divorces; and the Citizens Advice revealed that views on its divorce webpage on the first weekend in September 2020 were up 25% compared with the same date in 2019.
Head of Family Law Antonia Love commented:
2020 was a challenging year for many, and will undoubtedly continue to have an impact on families as we continue into 2021. We are glad to be able to still offer this service to help those access the advice that they need to resolve any family issues, or move forward with their lives.
Appointments for Farleys’ family advice clinic are still available, but on a first come first served basis and must be booked online though the form below.